6 Mistakes People Make When Charged with a Crime in New York
There are few things more stressful than being charged with a crime. It’s not unusual to make some fairly major mistakes very quickly once the process begins.
Yet if at all possible, you should work hard to avoid making any of the six blunders below. These are the blunders that tend to result in cases that are difficult to defend, creating long jail sentences and little room to negotiate, let alone secure an acquittal.
#1) They resist arrest.
Resisting arrest doesn’t just get you seriously hurt, and it can. It can also get you charged with an additional crime.
Obviously sometimes people get charged with resisting arrest whether they did anything wrong or not. If that’s the case, then your attorney can help with that.
Just don’t compound the problem or make your situation worse by fighting the police. It will not help you.
#2) They don’t ask for a warrant.
Any time a police officer wants to search your home or your car then they must have a warrant and you must ask for it. The warrant must describe the specific places the officer wants to search and why they have cause to search there.
Examine the warrant when you get it and watch to be certain the officers are not overstepping this warrant.
You don’t have to prove you have “nothing to hide.” Remember, corrupt officers often use a search as a way to plant evidence. Nothing stops them from doing that if they do have a warrant of course, but if you make them get a warrant you at least force a roadblock into their path.
In addition, if you don’t consent to a search and they do it anyway your lawyer can use this fact to help you later. If you consent to a search without a warrant, then there’s nothing your attorney can do about that.
#3) They try to prove their innocence to the police.
Do not answer any police question other than your name and address. After that your only answer should be: “I invoke my fifth amendment rights and I wish to speak to an attorney.”
There is nothing you can say that will stop the cops from arresting and charging you if they have taken it into their heads to do so. They are also not the ones you have to convince of your innocence. Your lawyer has to convince the ADA they don’t have a case or a jury that you’re innocent. Cops can think whatever they want.
In many cases, speaking to the cops results in you giving them information that supports their case. You think you’re providing an alibi when you say you were at the corner store at 7:00 PM. What you might not know is that places you less than a block away from the scene of the crime. Officers can lie to you, trick you, and manipulate you psychologically, and they can do it all legally.
You’re better off not talking to them.
#4) They say too much to family members and friends.
You’re out on bail? Don’t get tripped up while waiting for your court date.
It’s natural to want to convince family members of friends of your innocence by telling them literally everything you can about the alleged crime.
Unfortunately they can then be subpoenaed and forced to reveal anything you told them on the stand. Again, those little details you think are proving your innocence?
They may actually do the opposite.
You can say, “I’m confident that my innocence will be proven but my attorney has asked me not to talk about this case.”
This goes double for anything on social media. Do not post about your case. D knot post about anything if you can help it.
#5) They miss their court date.
Missing your court date adds contempt of court charges to all of the other charges you’re facing and makes your life even more difficult. Keep careful track of when you’re expected to be in court and be there without fail.
#6) They involve an attorney way too late.
Any time you are wrapped up with criminal charges you should call an attorney the moment you feasibly can. The earlier you involve an attorney in your case the more likely you are to see that case to a successful conclusion.