Since we were kids, our parents have taught us to be obedient. Soon after growing up, most of us have decided to become law-abiding citizens, so when you’re wrongfully accused of a crime, there’s a great chance that you may panic.
It would help if you kept in mind that the gravity of the charges could differ depending on the state where you were caught. For instance, being arrested for drug charges within downtown San Diego could guarantee you a spot on the state courts, whereas a similar case could be a federal offense if you were near the San Ysidro border.
In case you were suddenly arrested, doing the following necessary steps could shield you from landing in a worse situation:
Hire a defense lawyer
Don’t make the mistake of not immediately contacting a defense attorney just because of the hope that you could solve the mess on your own. The truth is, you can’t. And having a professional by your side throughout the process could bring more benefits in the long run.
In the legal field, all lawyers know that innocent clients need more protection than guilty individuals, particularly in the early period of the crime’s investigation, to guarantee that the truth would prevail in the end.
Upon being arrested, law enforcement has to read the accused their rights, making it likely that any statement you’d make while in their custody would be used in court. So even if it’s tempting to declare to everyone your innocence, your best option is to remain silent.
Sadly, making any move to prove your innocence to their faces could only give them the impression of how guilty you really are. More importantly, it would help if you didn’t answer any questions they may have about you until you’re in the presence of an attorney.
Refuse any testing or searches
You may think that cooperating with a DNA test or home searches could prove your innocence, but the truth is, it’s not an entirely effective method since you have no idea what the police could find.
In general situations, you might not have something that would put you in prison, yet there are instances where search sealed the wrongly accused’s fate. Hence, we highly recommend requesting a formal document like a search warrant to ensure that rules would be followed and wouldn’t violate your rights in any way.
Collect pieces of evidence
You shouldn’t be worried about not having the chance to provide proof of innocence before appearing in court. In fact, if you have access to important files, photos, or videos that could be helpful to your case, it’s encouraged that you collect them in one place.
However, it’s discouraged that you destroy some evidence you think would put you in a bad light. If you genuinely believe that you’re an innocent individual, these data are unlikely to be as damning as you first thought. Moreover, the law enforcement and the jury may even throw numerous skeptical glances your way if they find out you intentionally ruined crucial materials that’ll shed light on the case.
Maintain distance from witnesses
Don’t keep your hopes up that contacting the brought-in witnesses or victims who would testify against you would result in a situation that’s in favor. A good dialogue could solve many issues, but not legal ones since it tends only to cause more complications for the defendant’s party.
Not only that, but the witnesses could also spin the story that you were trying to intimidate them, which is clearly to aggravate your condition. On another note, if you believe that talking to these people could add value to your case, then it’s wise to keep your defense attorney in the loop so they can sort out the best plan of action that wouldn’t endanger your welfare.
It can’t be helped that stress and fear could overcome your best judgment, but you must remain as calm as possible and reach out to a lawyer with excellent records in similar cases.
By doing so, you’d be able to receive a preliminary consultation, where the attorney could point out the appropriate measures to take that’ll guarantee that you’ll walk home free.