3 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Manassas Criminal Cases
There are several common mistakes individuals charged with a crime in Manassas might make that can easily be avoided. Below, a Manassas criminal defense attorney discusses the three biggest mistakes and the impact they can have on your case. If you have already one of these mistakes or would like to learn more, call and schedule a consultation with a lawyer today.
Mistake #1: Talking to Police
One of the biggest but easily avoidable mistakes in any criminal case is talking to the police. Individuals frequently encounter police in traffic stops or other circumstances and incorrectly believe that they are required to answer the police’s questions or perform the tests that the police ask them to perform. Beyond identifying oneself and providing a form of identification, an individual has an absolute right to remain silent.
Police questioning is calculated to elicit incriminating responses that can be later used as evidence. Individuals should always remain silent when questioned by the police and decline to take any tests offered.
Mistake #2: Not Taking Your Charge Seriously
A second major mistake that people make is not realizing that the charges they are facing are serious or that they can potentially affect their lives in serious ways. Every misdemeanor and felony charge in Virginia is serious. Conviction of these types of charges can potentially carry jail time or loss of property or privileges, such as losing a driving license, losing a commercial driver’s license, or losing a security clearance.
Additionally, other collateral effects can be the loss of future employment prospects or educational opportunities. As a result, it is imperative that you take these charges as seriously as possible to provide yourself with the best chance to minimize the harm.
Mistake #3: Not Researching Experienced Lawyers
The third common big mistake people make in criminal cases is choosing a lawyer without really doing their homework. Choosing a lawyer is an incredibly important decision because the consequences of a criminal charge are so serious. When people make decisions about buying electronics, for example, they go online, read reviews and make comparisons. It is equally important to do the same when you are looking for a lawyer.
If someone needs to find an attorney who practices in their area, they need to look for experience and reputation, not just from former clients but also from other attorneys. This is why review services such as Google and AVVO are so important. With that said, it is also important that you look at attorneys with experience with your specific case type. For example if you are facing a DUI charge, an attorney experienced in DUI law should be able to help more than someone with experience in other parts of the field.