Most people have never faced criminal charges in Collin County before, the first time you are arrested comes as a serious shock. Many Collin County residents have no idea how to deal with the situation. And unfortunately, their ignorance often leads them to make some easily avoidable mistakes that harm their ability to successfully defend themselves in court.
Here are some of the more common mistakes that our firm has seen people make after they are charged with a crime:
1. Talking to the Police Without an Attorney Present
If you have ever watched a television police drama, you know that law enforcement officers are trained to interrogate a suspect to elicit as much information as possible before the right to counsel is invoked. Yet many people are reluctant to contact an attorney right away. Some people think they can “talk their way out of” an arrest. Others assume that asking for a lawyer will only make them seem more guilty. The truth is, if the police have already taken you into custody, they already think you are guilty. Not hiring a lawyer only hurts you.
2. Speaking to Other People–Other than an Attorney–About Your Case
We all have a natural desire to want to talk to someone about a stressful situation. But talking about a pending criminal case to anyone except your defense lawyer is generally a bad idea. This is especially true if you are being held in jail pending a bail hearing or trial. Texas law allows law enforcement to record any phone calls you make from a jail telephone, so anything you tell a family member or friend may be used as evidence against you at trial.
Never talk to your fellow inmates in jail about your case. Again, it is perfectly understandable that you want to commiserate with someone about a stressful situation. But many prison inmates know they can bargain for leniency of a reduced charge if they can “rat out” a fellow inmate.
3. Hiring the Wrong Lawyer
If you have never hired a criminal defense attorney before, you might just assume that all lawyers are the same. Some defendants may simply hire an attorney they already know even if they do not specialize in criminal defense matters. But law is a highly specialized profession. An attorney who dedicates 90 percent their practice to tax matters probably will not be much help if you are charged with capital murder.
Another problem we often see is criminal suspects trying to hire an attorney on the cheap. Trust us: When your life and liberty are at stake, you do not want to go “bargain hunting” for a lawyer.
That said, you should also not feel like you need to hire the most expensive lawyer you can find. As is the case when you hire any kind of skilled professional you should do some research first. It is important to look into an attorney’s background, education, and most importantly, their experience in handling criminal cases similar to yours.
4. Trying to Manage Your Own Criminal Case
Once you do hire a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer, you need to let that person do their job. If you are the type of person who needs to be in control of every situation, this may be difficult. But trying to manage–or micromanage–your own criminal defense is generally counterproductive.
You also need to consider that are likely in an emotionally vulnerable place when facing criminal charges. For instance, if the prosecution presents you with a plea offer, your first instinct may be to reject it and angrily insist on going to trial. But that may not be the best possible outcome under the circumstances. By working with–and listening to–your attorney, you may be able to resolve the charges against you in a more satisfactory manner.
Speak With Our Collin County Lawyers Today
If you are facing any kind of criminal charges, you do not have to face them alone. At Rosenthal & Wadas, our firm can assist you in preparing a defense and making sure the judge or jury hears your side of the story. Contact us today at (972) 369-0577 for a complimentary consultation.