Unlike civil lawsuits, criminal cases can quickly escalate and result in serious charges being brought forth. This can not only have a disastrous impact on the individual but also affect his or her family and social standing. There is a difference between being sent to jail and being ordered to pay a fine or stop construction.
Legal experts are of the opinion that individuals can seriously deter their chances of success when they end up making routine mistakes.
In this article, we speak to a leading criminal defense attorney and ask him to help us list down some of the most common mistakes done by individuals pursuing a criminal case.
List of 5 Mistakes to Avoid when pursuing a Criminal Case
1. Picking an Inexperienced Criminal Defense Attorney-
According to several legal experts, selecting the right criminal attorney can be the major deciding factor between success and failure. It is important to do your due diligence when choosing a lawyer to represent you in the criminal case.
While referrals from family and friends still continue to be the number one search and discovery option, experts suggest that they should be complemented by other factors. Asking questions, finding adequate credentials, and doing online review research is crucial in this regard.
2. Giving up the Plea Bargain-
There is a reason why even the best criminal attorneys push for a plea bargain. They realize that going to trial can be serious and complicated and can stretch for many months. When a decent and balanced plea bargain presents itself, you can go for it.
Pushing for court can be counter-productive in ninety percent of the cases. You will drain your finances and suffer from a lot of psychological turmoil after every single hearing. This is why engaging with the plea bargain is of utmost importance.
3. Wanting to Testify at your Own Trial-
Jurists do not encourage defendants to testify at their own trial for a number of reasons. Even if you are 100% innocent and would want everyone to know your side of the story, there are multiple things, which can go wrong. This is true if you are up against an expert attorney.
The opposing counsel would want to ask and frame questions in a certain sense, where you might be forced to give misleading answers. He can then use the inconsistencies to turn the case against you. When you are not a trained legal expert, do not go for testifying.
4. Discussing the Case and Talking to others-
When your criminal case is going on, it is best to stay as secretive as possible. No one apart from your attorney (because of attorney-client privileges) should know the details of the case. Experts point to a trend of internal informants being used to turn around cases.
You should always be careful about who is around you when you are talking about anything related to the case. In many instances, your phone (landlines and cell phones) can also be hacked to gather crucial evidence by the authorities.
5. Being lackadaisical in your approach to the case-
A criminal case should be pursued with the utmost alacrity right from the start. You cannot afford to be complacent at any point in time. If you let your guard down until the time the judgment is announced, it can be used against you in the case.
From the time you sit down to select your attorney to ensure all the paperwork is in place, individuals need to be as serious as possible. Any number of things, including a long jail term, might be the end-result of your carelessness.
The Final Word
There is a lot riding on criminal cases, which are more than just fines and injunctions. If convicted, you would be looking at a radically different life, with different rights and privileges. By following the article, you will be in a much better position to avoid mistakes. This will not only help your chances of success but also allow you to walk again as a free man.