Legal Guide

Some things to avoid if you ever are charged with a crime

Make sure that your legal support has your back and is supporting you.

So, say you haven’t ever been through the experience of finding a lawyer to represent you. That is okay. Most people that have not been through this process don’t even know where to start most of the time. That is okay, we are here to help you navigate this somewhat treacherous road a little bit. Many people choose to hire an attorney they know, a lawyer that had represented one of their family members or friends. They may choose to do this even if the consult does not specialize in criminal defense matters. This is usually where they make a mistake. What’s more, this is where the lawyer they hired probably knows that they are making a mistake but will gladly take the money with a smile on their face. Or maybe they are so cocky they think that they can handle stepping into unfamiliar territory while in the courtroom.  Now they know this and still, it is amazing that people will still go with someone they know, someone with no experience going “Trust me, I can win this.” over a trained professional in the subject matter. Almost never turns out well. This is because the attorneys and lawyers of this world are constantly navigating the shark filled waters of an extremely competitive and specialized profession. Some attorneys are experts at criminal law, and this is what they have spent most of their career doing. Some others are better swimming in domestic waters. Others, elder law. The list goes on and on, there are plenty of different niches or choices of the type of law that a law student is going to practice, all they must do is choose! If you are going with a criminal lawyer, this is someone that is in and out of the courtroom every day defending their clients. They have experience and are well versed in courtroom policies and procedures. They know what is going on behind the scenes, and if you have the money to afford a connected one, might be able to change those more covert activities around in your favor to where powerful people are on your side. Of course, things may not always work this way, it depends on where you are. The best thing to do is to pay attention to your surroundings and make a choice for your legal defense that aligns with the information and the signs around you. Don’t end up getting the short stick because you didn’t do the research and hire the specific type of representation that you needed. A law criminal infraction is a serious matter, you don’t want that following you around for the rest of your life. Make the right decisions, hire someone who knows the ins and the outs and can make this entire experience as painless as possible for you and whoever else is involved. 

Take your charge seriously! Don’t lie to your counsel!

We see people who could have gotten way better deals if only they would have listened, people that go into the courtroom and end up with more charges, people who plain seem like they WANT to be in jail. We have seen everything from the great victories to the harshest losses. During our years of experience, we have seen a lot, and taking your charge seriously is important. Even if you don’t necessarily have a felony, misdemeanors can have a bad effect on your record. So, if there is a possibility a good lawyer could scrub that off for you, wouldn’t you want to take him or her up on that? I mean come on. Poof, gone, bye bye. It could GO AWAY. Just take it seriously, spend a little time and money on it, and it will pay off in the long run. Trust us. That leads us to the next thing. When you hire counsel, you should make sure you are hiring someone that seems like can be trusted, you want to feel good about the decision you’ve made. You want to trust that person is going to represent you in the best possible manner and do everything they can to win your case, just like you would if you had the law degree to represent yourself. Taking this in regard, you’re going to also must give them everything that you know for them to be able to effectively represent you. Following this logic, it is a bad idea to lie to the counsel that is supposed to be defending you. Shoot it straight!

So, you’ve watched some law and order. No one cares. Don’t represent yourself. Just don’t.

 This is something that we see more than you would think. Now, there are people who go to medical school to become doctors. Some are in school for 8-12 years. How do you think it would go if they let a series binger of greys anatomy walk in and start performing surgeries because they felt like they were an authority on the situation? It would go great right? Wrong. They would have no idea what they were doing, someone’s lung would probably end up where their liver should be, and they would have been probably thinking about Dr. McDreamy the entire time anyway. SO, the same thing applies here for lawyers. If you don’t have a law degree, do not assume you have what it takes to defend yourself in the court of law, ESPECIALLY for a criminal case. If you want to do this for a traffic court case, knock yourself out. Your freedom usually isn’t at stake there and most of the time, unless it’s a serious moving violation or DUI, it’s payable by a fine without any jail time.

So, you have found an experience professional, someone you think that is competent and is going to take you on sincerely and approach your case with care. Here is a situation where control freaks typically do not do very well. If in most walks of life, you find yourself needing to supervise and oversee, or feel nervous and anxious when you aren’t steering the situation, this may be difficult for you. It is important to let your lawyer steer the situation and manage his asset (you) in the way that he deems best for the case. If you push back, do not take his advice, or are in general prickly or standoffish and let your pride get in the way, you are going to have a bad time in court. Having your hand in everything that your counsel does is not going to work. If you do this, it is usually directly counter-productive to accomplishing what you hired this person for in the first place. Not all the time, but most of the time. If you would like a reliable and solid defense, put together for you by your hired professional whom you have told EVERYTHING (right?), a defense that gives you the best chance of walking out of there scot free, you need to have faith in your lawyer. He also needs a FULL and ACCURATE account of your arrest and the events leading up to it. They may choose not to share certain details with the court, obviously keeping their goal in mind, but if you leave out details or lie to them, they do not have all the evidence that they need to protect you. This can leave you suffering even more down the road, making things unnecessarily difficult for everybody, and just is in general an advised against and poor practice.

Consenting to any searches or taking any tests without your express permission or a court order.

Unless the police have a warrant, you do not need to agree to let them search your home. Yes, the police are the good guys, most of the time. They are supposed to serve and protect. This does not mean that they are your friends. It is their job to find out who committed a crime and put them in jail for it. Sometimes, especially if it is a high-profile crime in the news, they are very eager to find someone to pin the blame on and put behind bars. You do NOT want to be someone who happens to fit the profile and ends up in a cage for a bit while everything is sorted out. A lawyer can get you out or keep you from being put in there in the first place. On a different note, but still similar, do NOT (or we highly recommend against it) take any sort of saliva or blood test, any urine or hair samples, anything at all unless there is a court order for the evidence. You simply don’t have to. Most people think that if they know they are innocent, then they should co-operate in every possible manner to prove it. This doesn’t always work and mostly every single lawyer you come across would tell you not to do this. Just because YOU know you aren’t guilty, does not mean that everyone else is going to come to the same conclusion. If there happens to be some strong circumstantial evidence against you, it may not necessarily be enough to convict you, but it can have many eyes turned your way and this is something you do not want.

Talking about your case to people besides your attorney.

This one should be obvious to most people. But you would be surprised. So many people discuss the details of their case to friends, family, sometimes even random strangers that they meet in place like bars and clubs. Sometimes, this gets them in trouble. Sometimes it is harmless. Remember this gem of wisdom though. Jail phone calls are recorded. So in the future if you have to sit in jail pending your trial date, it would be a terrible idea to talk to any visitors on that phone about anything that might possibly incriminate you. SO many people have done this, and we tell them the same thing every time. So don’t be like these people. If you have a court case, you should be taking all measures of it seriously and you should not be spreading your business, especially your legal business, around to ever jack john and henry who might be willing to listen. If it is someone that you don’t know, maybe you should be asking yourself why they are willing to hear your entire story or even want to. Might be, you’ve got some information that they can use to help their own situation out. Okay, you’ve got this one, right? Don’t discuss your case with anyone except your counsel. Black and white. Pretty plain and simple.

All sorts of people end up in situations where they might need legal help.

You never know when you might need to call up a lawyer. There are so many things now a days that people are suing over, it is impossible not to offend somebody. Chances are, your going to need a lawyer for something in your life before it is over. Most likely numerous times. Lawyers and legal counsel are necessary parts of our integral system that is running day and night. Jail and prison are parts of these systems too. And your goal is to stay out of those and to keep enjoying your freedom under the protection of the United States of America. It is always good to have a lawyer handy, a number in everyone’s phone, someone that everyone in the family or on the team can reach out to for legal advice. We have seen things from people having slips and falls and suing (the company hired a pressure washing company afterwards), to someone getting sued at a t shirt design company because the fabric made them break out. We have even seen a company get sued because they tinted a customer’s windows too dark. They ordered the level of tint, the techs put it on their car as requested, the person got into an accident, and then the window tinting service was blamed just for doing their job. This was a case where even though they didn’t do anything wrong, they still needed a lawyer to represent the company and defend them. Defend them for doing what the person asked them to do in the first place but defend them all the same. Crazy right? Well, they DID need a lawyer, you can be sure of that. And they did not represent themselves.

Take this advice, and you will most likely be okay.

There are plenty more things that you can do when you are waiting for your criminal case that can get you in trouble, have you end up in jail, or just give you a bad and unenjoyable time overall. A lot of these things are common sense. We don’t have time to go over EVERYTHING that might end you up in the big house, but we’ve tried to touch on a few things here that will ensure you do what you can to stay out. Maybe this isn’t a jail situation, and you just want to make sure you have a good defense. Sometimes, there are some things that you just can’t control. Some people find themselves in bad situations and have little to no control of how they got there or what they happened to be mixed up in. A simple case of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Believe it or not, this happens all the time. So, if it happens to you, make sure that you find and hire someone you know is going to have your back.

Short Author Bio

My name is Blake Congdon. I am 28 years old and have been all around the United States and other countries as well. Along the way I have picked up tons of experience and knowledge. I am a web designer and salesman, a consultant and lead generator. Recently I have been working on building websites, it is something I enjoy and am able to monetize. I have recently discovered that writing is a passion of mine and something that I also like to do. I live in Richmond, Virginia with my wife, close to my mother and my family, a short distance away so that spending time with them as they get older is much easier. I like a simple life, and do not overcomplicate things.

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