A lot of people who end up convicted of a criminal conviction get there because they made a number of mistakes during the investigatory process. These missteps, which may seem minor at the time, can end up leading to prison time, fines, and a criminal history that haunts you for years or even decades to come.
You certainly don’t want that to happen to you, which is why you need to know some of the common mistakes that people make so that you can avoid them.
The biggest mistakes you can make during a criminal investigation
There’s a lot that can go wrong during a criminal investigation, leading to poor outcomes for you. Let’s look at some of them here:
- Giving information to the police: Probably the biggest mistake you can make is talking to the police. Even if you think that you can talk yourself out of suspicion, chances are you’re just going to make yourself look guilty or say something that the police will take out of context and use against you. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and a Constitutional protection against self-incrimination. In other words, you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, say anything to the police without first consulting with your attorney.
- Trying to contact the victim: If you’re under investigation, then you might be tempted to reach out to the alleged victim to talk about the issue, clear up misunderstandings, or otherwise convince them not to pursue charges against you. This most likely isn’t going to have the results that you want. In fact, the police and prosecutors are probably going to view your actions as those of someone who is guilty. They may even consider your actions witness tampering.
- Opening up to friends and family members: If you’ve got something that you need to get off your chest, it might seem appropriate to talk about your case to your family and friends. But as soon as you release information to them, they can become witnesses against you in your case. Not because they’ll turn against you but because the prosecution may subpoena them to testify, and they’ll be under an obligation to tell the truth in court. If you’ve got something you need to say, say it to your attorney where the statements are protected by attorney-client privilege.
- Using social media: Social media is another outlet that people turn to for emotional release. Therefore, it can be tempting to make statements about your case there, even if they’re indirect. But your profiles are going to be monitored by investigators and prosecutors, so you’ll want to watch what you’re saying since what you post on there could be used against you. In fact, it’s best that you avoid social media altogether until your case resolves.
- Finding less than adequate representation: Although there are a lot of criminal defense attorneys out there, they aren’t created equally. This means that choosing the wrong attorney could be disastrous to your case. Therefore, before you move forward with your case, you should make sure that you’re choosing an attorney who will aggressively fight to protect your interests.
Don’t be your own worst enemy in your criminal case
Everything you do when you’re under criminal investigation matters. That’s why you need to be extremely careful and move forward with a significant amount of foresight. Fortunately, by securing the assistance of a criminal defense attorney early on in your case, you can ensure that you’re protecting yourself as fully as possible.