Charged with a Crime? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Author: Cj Khanlarbig | | Categories: Criminal Law , Family Law

Charged with a Crime? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Are you caught up in a criminal legal matter and not sure what your next steps should be? Being charged with a crime can be stressful, time-consuming, and may take a toll on your health. You may be concerned about your reputation, financial costs to fight your case, or in worst-case scenarios, serving jail time. No matter how complicated the matter, there are a few things you should not do in the event you are arrested and charged.

To increase your chances of a favourable outcome, here are some common mistakes to avoid when being charged with a crime.

Talking to the police and not knowing your rights. Everyone charged with a crime has the right to remain silent and consult with a lawyer upon arrest. Everyone should invoke this right immediately upon arrest. Most of the time the person accused is not aware of his or her rights and this is often not helpful for the case. Once the police consider you as a suspect, they are likely acting on information that they have investigated. Once there are grounds for your arrest, any explanation, even if exculpatory, will not reverse your arrest. Being arrested, charged and interrogated is often overwhelming but invoking your right to counsel and remaining silent can be done by consulting a lawyer before or after an arrest.

Consenting to a search without speaking to a lawyer first. Consenting to a search of your person, vehicle, home, phone, computer or any other personal property in which you have an interest of privacy prior to speaking to a lawyer is another mistake. It may eliminate any defenses under the Charter of Rights and freedoms for unlawful or illegal search by the police.

Not hiring a lawyer and representing yourself in court. The legal system is difficult to navigate through. If you choose to represent yourself, you are taking a huge risk even if you believe the case to be "easy" or the offence to be minor, you are decreasing your chances of winning your trial. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer will be of great help as he or she will know strategic ways to achieve the results that would be in your best interest.

Hiring a lawyer who does not specialize in criminal law. Criminal defense lawyers only focus on criminal law. They are knowledgeable and know the appropriate steps to take in the case. They have credibility in court, case specific experience and good reputation with judges, and crown attorneys. From minor to the most serious cases, you should hire a lawyer with extensive experience in criminal law who is well versed in the courtroom. Do not hire a "Jack of all trade" type of lawyer that practices criminal law, personal injury and real estate. You need someone who is up to date on the law and spends time in court on a daily basis. Most criminal defense lawyers give free consultations so take advantage of this opportunity and hire a lawyer your feel confident with.

Hiring a lawyer who guarantees a win. A lawyer cannot predict the outcome of a criminal case and guaranteeing a victory is a sign of dishonest behavior.. So choose a lawyer wisely.

Discussing your case with other people and/or posting comments on social media. Statements and comments made to anyone other than your lawyer can turn those people into witnesses that can testify against you and those statements can become evidence used against you. Same goes for social media, anything posted can be investigated by the police even if it is deleted later on.

Unfortunately, there are no second chances when it comes to handling yourself during and after an arrest. If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s important to avoid these mistakes for the best possible outcome. To help you avoid these common pitfalls, reach out the criminal law experts at KLG Barristers and Solicitors, in Toronto, Ontario. To learn more, please visit