So You've Been Arrested or Charged With a Crime: Here's What Not to Do

Many adults find themselves facing criminal charges at some point; however, knowing what to do can be very frustrating and overwhelming. No matter what type of allegations you're facing, there are a few things you need to know.

If you've been arrested or charged with a crime, you might feel anxious, frustrated or even scared. Having not dealt with the criminal justice system before, you don't what to expect. Regardless of the crime, it's extremely helpful and calming to understand possible defenses, resolutions and what to expect at the various proceedings. Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney right of way can provide that. Try to remain calm, focused and cautious. Whatever has happened is done - now is the time to look at what needs to be done. Try to remain calm, and respectful. Below are general Defendant First Responder guidelines that are important in most cases.

1. Don't admit guilt.

Never sign a confession, admit guilt, or offer a half-truth to a police officer. Often making any statements at all can create problems in the future for your defense. Half-truths or details that are not 100% truthful can damage your future credibility and negatively affect your defense. There are times when you should make a statement, but it is risky without an attorney there to help you determine whether it's appropriate in your case. When you are arrested or cited, you are usually questioned by law enforcement who want you to make statements before you have a chance to see an attorney. Many people wrongly believe they can talk their way out of being arrested. If they have enough evidence to arrest you already, then you will be arrested regardless whether you talk. If they don't, then you might give it to them. During an investigative phase where you are not under arrest, the officer may not have to give you your rights before questioning you depending on the circumstances. Remember, anything you say could be used against you in the future. It may incriminate you in some way that you do not even realize, even if it just confirms evidence they already have or suspect. Ideally, you should avoid answering interview questions in most cases until you have talked to your lawyer.

2. Don't talk to anyone.

After you have been arrested or cited, understand that the case and investigation usually continues. Avoid posting anything about your legal case on social media and don't talk about it with your friends. Openly making statements about your case to others may be admissible against you. Law enforcement and the District Attorney routinely check social media, find and use information, pictures and statements they find against defendants.

3. Don't lie to your attorney.

Most importantly, never lie to your lawyer. Your attorney wants to help you and will try to get the best resolution possible in your case based on everything he knows about the offense and you. Knowing everything is important to get the right resolution and analyzing the risks. This will ensure that you get the best resolution in your particular case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain and review your case, procedures, and defenses as well as reduce your anxiety as you navigate the Criminal Justice System.