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Seven Things You Shouldn’t Do After Being Charged With a Crime

No one plans to get charged with a crime. But unfortunately, many people at some point in their lives will find themselves in exactly that situation. Even people who have never violated the law are not immune from arrest and prosecution. This is because prosecutors file charges based on a simple finding of probable cause to believe a person committed a crime. This standard is much lower than the proof-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard required for conviction. Because the lower standard makes it incredibly easy for prosecutors to file charges, it is not unusual for even completely innocent people to find themselves charged with a crime.

Feeling helpless is an inevitable byproduct of becoming a criminal defendant. But thankfully, some aspects of the situation are entirely within your control. You can maximize your chance of a positive outcome by refraining from taking certain actions:

  • Don’t talk to the police or anyone from the prosecutor’s office.
  • Don’t delay in hiring an attorney.
  • Don’t discuss the crime with anyone other than your attorney.
  • Don’t violate the conditions of your bail or bond.
  • Don’t conceal or destroy evidence; turn it over to your attorney.
  • Don’t associate with co-defendants.
  • Don’t fail to attend all of your pretrial hearings, and dress appropriately.

The first three guidelines are particularly critical to obtaining a successful outcome. You might think that no harm can come from talking to your lover, siblings, or children about your case. But all of these people can be subpoenaed by the government and forced to testify about any statements you make to them. And although one spouse can’t be required to testify against the other, a defendant-spouse can’t prevent a witness-spouse from voluntarily taking the stand. Obviously, a journey through the criminal justice system can strain a marriage. Therefore it is unwise to discuss your case with your spouse; refraining from doing so will ensure that, even if the witness-spouse elects to testify, he or she will have little information of value to convey to the jury.

Sometimes the best way to help your lawyer, and yourself, is to do nothing rather than do the wrong thing. While the seven guidelines listed above generally hold true, some may not apply in every situation. Whether they apply to you will depend on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. The best action you can take is to hire a good lawyer as early as possible, and follow his or her advice.

Informational Credit:

This article was inspired by the criminal defense attorneys of Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm PA.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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