Common Mistakes in Virginia Criminal Cases
The following are common mistakes defendants make in criminal cases according to Virginia criminal defense attorney Matthew Crowley. For more information or to discuss your case schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.
What Are Some Common Mistakes You See Individuals Charged With Criminal Offenses Make?
The number one mistake people make is talking. People encounter police and then they talk to the police. Police officers are very skilled and are highly trained to get as much information out of the suspect as they can. But what people need to understand, what’s important to recognize, is that from the second you encounter a police officer, their function is to build a case against you, that’s their sole function there, it’s to attempt to collect evidence that’s going to result in your conviction.
You absolutely should not help them or make that effort any easier by speaking to them. It’s important to remember that the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees you the right remain silent. The best course of action is always to politely decline.
Another mistake people make is talking to other people,, whether you’re talking to your friends, whether you’re talking to your parents, whether you’re talking to your co-workers, all of those statements that you make are potentially evidence in a case later. You could find siblings or parents or friends or co-workers subpoenaed to court to testify about what you said. Again, that’s a mistake, you don’t want to create any evidence through your statements.
Another mistake people make is waiting too long to talk to an attorney. It’s never too late to get an attorney, but you give yourself the very best chance of doing all the things that give you the maximum opportunity to have a good outcome by involving a lawyer from the very beginning.
Is There Anything Someone Can Do to Avoid Making These Mistakes?
The main thing that they can do to avoid those mistakes are to involve an attorney immediately. Sometimes you’re going to have the luxury of doing your research and, at a very early point in the process, the very best thing to do is to really do your research, really find the right person, and then involve them right away because they are going to help you avoid those mistakes.
They’re going to know what the pitfalls are, they’re going to know what the things you should be doing, they’re going to know what things you shouldn’t be doing. They’re going to be able to assist you in ways that you’re not going to be able to do on your own, they’re going to be able to foresee things that you’re not going to be able to foresee. But even if you don’t have the opportunity to do that, even if you’re about to be arrested or you’ve been arrested and you need a quick answer, it’s better to pick up the phone and call someone who is available twenty four hours and get a quick answer rather than none at all.