Not Remaining Silent
You have the right to remain silent when you are arrested. Many people take the first chance they have to explain their situation to whomever will listen and will spill the beans so to speak. This can often be detrimental because the officer will Mirandize the people they arrest and when you tell them facts about your case they can and often will use those statements against you in court. You should tell the officer that you do not want to speak to them until you have an attorney present.
Often when a person is detained or is about to be arrested the reality of the situation hits them and they begin to argue with the arresting officer about the arrest. This sometimes leads to the individual not allowing the officer to place handcuffs on them. If this happens, the officer can charge you with resisting arrest, and make your charges increase.
Not Knowing What You Are Being Charged With
Always make sure that you know what you are being charged with. Understand if there are more than one charge, whether those charges are being filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Ask the details because each crime comes with it’s own set of penalties and when combined with other charges or more serious charges, the penalties may be more severe.
Do not ever tell the officer you did it or take any sort of responsibility for the crime. They may use partial confessions against you in court. It is very hard to get a confession excluded in court and the fact that you confessed to anything can make you look guiltier.
Not Retaining an Attorney
If you do not retain an attorney immediately you are putting yourself in a precarious position. Prosecutors and Police Officers are not always your friends, they are looking to solve a crime and oftentimes they will take the first person they find who makes sense and charge them with the crime. Having someone on your side who will ensure that your rights are protected is invaluable.
Waiting Until the Court Date to Hire an Attorney
Waiting until the court date to hire an attorney often slows down the process of your case because any attorney you retain needs time to review the evidence in your case in order to provide the best possible defense they can for you.
Do not lie to your attorney. They are the one person who is fighting for you at this point in time. Even if you do not think certain details are relevant or if you are simply embarrassed about certain details related to your case, do not hide them. Without all the facts, your attorney may be blindsided and cannot mount the best defense for you. Remember, everything you tell your attorney is confidential and will stay between the two of you.
Not Taking Detailed Notes on the Incident
Always take notes, on every step of the process. This will allow you to remember details that you may think are irrelevant or details that you may forget as time passes. Sometimes details are important and if you forget them your defense is weakened. You should also make a list of witnesses who were present at the time of the crime or who will be able to speak in your defense because they can be useful to your attorney.
Talking to Friends and Family About the Incident
Conversations that you have with family and friends is not confidential and if the prosecution comes to learn about these conversations they may subpoena your friends and family to testify against you in a court of law.