Mistakes to Avoid After Arrest: A Legal Perspective - Sand Law North Dakota
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Mistakes to Avoid After Arrest: A Legal Perspective

14th August 2023

The attorneys with Sand Law would like to share some common mistakes to avoid after arrest. If you choose our firm, we’ll do everything we can to provide you with the best defense possible. While we can’t make any promises, we guarantee we’ll work passionately to either reduce your charges or see that the court throws your case out entirely.

North Dakota law enforcement agencies made 49,488 arrests in 2022. Being arrested can be a distressing and overwhelming experience. In such a situation, handling things cautiously is crucial to avoid making mistakes that could have serious legal consequences. Navigating the aftermath of an arrest requires a clear understanding of your rights and the potential pitfalls.

Here’s a look at what NOT to do if police arrest you. Learn more about how we can help by calling 701-609-1510 or contacting us online.

Mistakes to Avoid After Arrest: Talking Way Too Much

After an arrest, the urge to explain your side of the story to law enforcement officers is natural, but it’s a mistake that can have far-reaching implications. Law enforcement officers are trained to gather evidence, and they may misconstrue what you say or take it out of context.

Instead of giving statements without legal counsel present, you should exercise your right to remain silent. This right ensures that you don’t unintentionally incriminate yourself. Wait until you have a criminal defense lawyer to guide your interactions with law enforcement and help you communicate effectively while safeguarding your legal rights.

Not Immediately Hiring a Lawyer

Delaying the decision to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be costly. An attorney’s role goes beyond legal representation; they offer strategic guidance, protect your rights, and navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf.

Waiting too long to secure legal counsel might result in missed opportunities to gather crucial evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong defense strategy. Swift action is essential to ensure that every aspect of your case is managed correctly. An attorney can provide insights into the potential consequences you might face, negotiate on your behalf, and work to secure the best possible outcome for your situation.

Representing Yourself

You might be tempted to represent yourself in a criminal case. But it’s actually one of the biggest mistakes to avoid after arrest. According to a study analyzing self-represented defendants from 1996-2011, 95% of their cases resulted in a guilty verdict.

Criminal law is intricate, and court proceedings involve numerous nuances you could easily overlook without a deep understanding of the legal system.

Even if you believe your case is straightforward, an experienced criminal defense attorney possesses the knowledge to identify legal opportunities and potential defenses that could significantly impact your case. Courtroom procedures, rules of evidence, and the strategies employed by opposing counsel are areas where an attorney’s expertise shines.

Choosing to represent yourself may weaken your defense, hinder your ability to negotiate favorable outcomes, and potentially result in dire consequences that could have been avoided by getting expert legal help.

Missing Court Dates

Missing a scheduled court appearance is a grave mistake that can lead to immediate consequences. Courts treat failure to appear seriously, often issuing a warrant for your arrest. If authorities put a warrant out on you, that can lead to additional charges. These charges would further compound your legal troubles.

Court dates are non-negotiable and require careful planning to prioritize attendance. Work with your attorney to keep track of court dates and ensure they inform you about all scheduled hearings. Proactively coordinating with legal professionals can prevent unintended repercussions and keep your case going in the right direction.

Disrespecting the Court

Maintaining respect for the court, judges, and legal professionals is a matter of etiquette and a crucial strategic choice. The court’s perception of you can influence their decisions, including bail, sentencing, and plea negotiations.

Any disrespectful or disruptive behavior can lead to negative consequences for your case. Demonstrating respect and cooperation reflects positively on your character and may influence the court’s perception of your credibility. Remember that your interactions within the courtroom set the tone for how your case is handled and may impact the outcome.

Posting on Social Media

In the age of social media, what you post online can have serious repercussions for your legal case. Sharing information about your arrest, discussing the incident, or even expressing frustration can show up in court.

Prosecutors and opposing counsel often scour social media platforms for evidence detrimental to your defense. Even innocent or unrelated posts can paint an unfavorable picture of your character. For this reason, don’t post anything related to your arrest on the internet.

Only discuss your legal situation on social media once your case ends to protect your case. What you share online can have a lasting, negative impact on the outcome.

Talking to the Accuser

Speaking with the accuser or any witnesses involved in the incident without legal guidance can be risky. The opposition can manipulate even well-intentioned conversations and weaken your defense. They’ll use any information exchanged against you in court, potentially damaging your case.

Maintaining a strict policy of non-communication with the accuser or witnesses is best until you consult with your attorney. Your lawyer can navigate any necessary interactions on your behalf, carefully managing your words and actions to protect your legal interests.

A Second Arrest

Once released on bail or your own recognizance, it’s essential to avoid further brushes with the law. A second arrest before resolving your initial case can lead to severe consequences, even if the arrest is for a fairly minor offense. If this happens, the court may revoke your bail, resulting in having to go back to jail. Also, new arrests can lead to more charges and complicate your defense efforts.

If you want the best chance of avoiding a worst-case scenario and facing even stiffer penalties, you must abide by the law and avoid any behavior that could lead to additional arrests or legal complications.

Hire Sand Law to Represent Your Criminal Case

Now that you’ve learned which mistakes to avoid after arrest, it’s time to speak with an attorney. A Sand Law criminal defense attorney will have the experience and skill to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Please don’t hesitate to schedule a free case evaluation by using our online contact form or calling 701-609-1510.