When you’re charged with a crime, you want to do everything in your power to get the charges reduced or dismissed. Syncing up with an attorney is a great way to ensure you get the best defense, but there’s also some actions you should avoid if you want to put yourself in the best position to beat the charges. Below, we look at a few things you should avoid doing while you’re waiting for your court date.
Avoiding Potential Pitfalls Before Court
Avoid doing any of these activities if you want to put yourself in the best position to win your case at trial.
Getting Arrested Again – This probably sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people get in more trouble when they are waiting for their first trial to conclude. If you get arrested for the same crime or a similar crime, the judge isn’t going to look kindly on your first trial because it’s clear that you didn’t learn anything from your first mistake. Lay low and avoid problematic situations while you’re waiting for your case to conclude.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs – Alcohol and drugs can affect our ability to make good decisions, and as we mentioned above, you’ll want to avoid problematic situations while you wait for your court date. Clearly you should avoid drugs, and while alcohol is legal if you’re over 21, not only can it put you in bad situations, if it comes out that you are drinking and partying days after a DUI arrest, the judge isn’t going to grant you any sympathy. While you’re waiting for your trial date, before you do anything, think to yourself, “If a judge or jury saw me doing this, would it negatively affect my case?” If the answer is yes, avoid it at least until your case is resolved.
Social Media – Anything posted on social media sites is admissible in the court of law, so do not post anything about your case on social media. Anything you post can be used to make the state’s case against you. Facebook posts and Tweets have derailed criminal and family law proceedings before, and they will continue to in the future if people keep talking about their cases or airing dirty laundry about their custody situation on these sites.
Inexperienced or Cheap Legal Defense – We’re not saying you always need to hire the most experienced and expensive legal team, but don’t always go to the lowest bidder when it comes to finding an attorney, because the stakes are high. You might go to a new barber to get a cheaper haircut, but if he screws up, you only have to deal with the ugly hairdo for a month or two. If you go to an inexperienced attorney to defend your DUI or theft case, that conviction can have lifelong consequences when it comes to applying for school, housing or your dream job. Do your due diligence and shop around for the best attorney for your situation, but don’t make money the most important factor when it comes to picking one out.
Brett Appelman is the owner and managing partner at Appelman & Associates, a criminal defense law firm located in Aurora, Illinois. His firm specializes in criminal matters, traffic citations and family law. If you run into trouble just west of Chicago, give Brett and his team a call.