Five Mistakes That Could Harm Your Criminal Case
Police investigate crimes and make arrests. Prosecutors bring charges. These are not the only parties who have control over the outcome of your case. Your actions or inaction at any stage in the criminal justice process can affect the outcome of your case.
At the Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall in State College, we want you to have the best chance possible at a good outcome — even if you don’t end up becoming our client. If you are charged with a crime, avoiding the following can help you protect your case.
- Failing to contact an experienced attorney: The criminal justice system is not fair to those who try to go it alone. Public defenders do their best, but they are often less experienced and assigned more cases than anyone should handle. When it is your future that will be affected by the outcome, why would you ever put it at risk?
- Forgetting your Fifth Amendment rights: Have you ever heard the phrase, “What you say can and will be used against you?” Believe it, because it is true. Never say anything about your case to police. You cannot make your situation better by talking. Exercise your right to remain silent and contact an attorney.
- Posting on social media: Talking about your case online is essentially the same thing as giving police officers a statement. Even if you think you have strong privacy settings, investigators can find evidence they will use against you. This applies even before you are charged. Never post pictures or statements about an activity that could get you in trouble with the law.
- Thinking a misdemeanor or first offense won’t affect your future: Let’s be honest, breaking the law doesn’t always feel like a crime. Many college students drink before they turn 21 and marijuana has become more socially acceptable than it was before, but even a misdemeanor or first offense can impact your status at school, future job opportunities and other aspects of your life. Should you run into trouble again, it can also be used to enhance penalties during sentencing.
- Accepting a plea agreement before talking to an attorney: Plea agreements are not always bad. In fact, many attorneys use them to help their clients obtain a more favorable, less risky and less expensive result than if they went to trial. The problem is that prosecutors are not on your side, and when you sign you are pleading guilty to a crime, you are giving up important rights that could impact you well into the future. The attorney you hire will help you understand the full extent of the consequences and whether it is a good deal based on your circumstances.
Want Us On Your Side? Discuss Your Case In A Free Consultation.
Our lawyer has more than 25 years of experience in Pennsylvania. You can be confident that he will do everything he can to help you. Meet with him to discuss your case in a free initial consultation. Call 814-308-8439 or email to schedule yours.