Facing a criminal charge already puts you at a disadvantage in the justice system. Many of the challenges you experience while maintaining your rights are out of your control. However, you can take measures to avoid further damage to your case.
One of these steps is making sure you do not make these common mistakes in your interactions with police officers.
1. Running away
Fear of the police arresting you in a questionable situation, whether or not you were involved, may cause you to want to get away. You may be scared of how the police will treat you upon arrest. Regardless of the reason for wanting to flee, you need to stay put. Evading the police on foot or in a vehicle will only make your situation worse by adding misdemeanor or felony charges. Then, even if the original charges go away, you still face one for evading arrest.
2. Believing the police
Although from your childhood days you may have been taught to trust law enforcement officers, the truth is that when it comes to criminal activity and investigations, police officers are not your friends. They may insist they are trying to help you, but they are allowed to lie in order to obtain information. This permission goes beyond the station walls, as well. Undercover officers do not have to expose their identities if you ask who they are, and officers can lie during a traffic stop. Some cops even lie under oath, even though it is illegal, reports the New York Times.
3. Talking more than necessary
More advice: cooperate with police. This is good advice but does not mean you have to answer every question they ask. You may think your story is straightforward and clear or that you have nothing to hide. Unfortunately, even words that seem harmless to you can become incriminating evidence against you in the hands of the prosecution. Assert your rights to remain silent and to speak to an attorney first to avoid hurting your case.
If you have been charged with a crime, keep this important fact in mind: there are defenses to every criminal charge. Retain the services of an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.