Getting arrested – especially if it is a first offense – can be embarrassing, confusing, stressful, and frightening. When people are emotionally overwhelmed, they tend to make mistakes that could result in more legal trouble and ultimately a conviction.
The following are the most common mistakes to avoid after an arrest:
- Admit to committing the crime – You have the constitutional right against incriminating yourself. If an officer asks you questions related to the alleged offense, you may politely state that you will not answer any questions until you speak with an attorney.
- Tell your side of the story – When a person is wrongly arrested, it is not uncommon for them to try to explain themselves to convince the police that they are innocent. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials will use whatever you say against you in court.
- Plead guilty – Getting arrested is not the same as being convicted. You still have an opportunity to defend yourself. However, if you plead guilty at your first court hearing (arraignment), then you will potentially end up serving time behind bars, paying costly fines, and having a criminal record.
- Not hiring an attorney – One of the most important steps to take immediately after getting arrested is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can listen to your story, evaluate your situation, and figure out your available legal options to either avoid conviction or get your charge/penalties reduced.
At The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman, we are committed to protecting your rights and freedom during this difficult and trying time. Attorney Goodman has more than two decades of experience and a successful trial track record, defending clients inside and outside the courtroom.