It is important for individuals accused of crimes to understand their criminal defense rights and their importance. Because police and prosecutors make investigatory and charging decisions, it is important to understand criminal defense rights related to criminal charges and interactions with police and prosecutors. Certain pitfalls can affect an accused individual's case, and it is helpful to be familiar with what they are and avoid them.
To begin with, it is important to understand search and seizure rights related to police searches and arrests and other actions authorities may take. In addition, it is important to be familiar with rights against self-incrimination, which do not require accused individuals to speak with authorities or investigators. Trained guidance when working with investigators, authorities and others, such as concerning plea negotiations, can be useful.
In addition, it is important to take criminal charges seriously and understand the long-term impact they can carry. This includes misdemeanor charges which can impact educational opportunities, professional opportunities and can create a criminal record, and consequences associated with that, as well as impact the professional life of the accused individual. It is also important to refrain from social media use which, like statements made to authorities, may be used against the accused individual.
Because of the long-term consequences associated with criminal charges, it is essential for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and options and how to use them. An accused individual's rights and future are implicated whenever criminal charges are at issue which is why they must know how to protect themselves.