Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a frightening and often confusing experience for most people. Along with being worried about the eventual outcome of your case, you also must try and navigate the criminal justice system with which you may be completely unfamiliar. While it is always in your best interests to consult directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney, a Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyer at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby offers the following 10 best criminal defense lawyer tips for anyone facing a criminal prosecution.
Best Criminal Defense Lawyer Tips
- Exercise your right to remain silent. This means do not talk to anyone, including friends and family members, about your case. Anyone you speak to could be forced to testify against you. If the police try to question you, politely refuse and tell them you do not want to talk without a lawyer present.
- Prioritize your release. You are always in a better position to mount a defense if you are out of custody. If you are not able to pay the initial bail amount, talk to an attorney about the possibility of getting a reduction in your bail.
- Never represent yourself. No matter how insignificant you may think the charges are, do not try and represent yourself. A conviction may have serious consequences that you are unaware of and that may negatively impact your life for many years to come.
- Do not talk to the prosecutor without an attorney. Until you do have an attorney representing you, do not speak to the prosecuting attorney. He/she may try and offer you a guilty plea agreement as early as your initial hearing. Politely explain that you want to discuss it with an attorney before deciding if you are interested.
- Do not violate the conditions of your release. If you are released from custody, there will be release conditions you must abide by to prevent returning to jail. Take these conditions seriously because if your bail is revoked you will probably be stuck in jail until your case is resolved.
- Be honest with your lawyer. The one exception to the general “no talking about your case” rule is with your lawyer. The attorney-client privilege prevents your lawyer from divulging what you tell him/her. To provide you with valuable advice and to mount a winning defense, your attorney needs you to be honest.
- Be realistic about your options. Your attorney will discuss your options with you. Be realistic when considering those options. If your attorney tells you that the state has a very strong case against you, it is in your best interest to face the fact that you are unlikely to win at trial.
- Listen to your lawyer’s advice. While you are not obligated to follow your lawyer’s advice, at least listen to it. An experienced criminal defense lawyer has been through what you are going through hundreds, if not thousands, of times, making the advice he/she gives you extremely valuable.
- Remember that some important decisions are yours to make. Your attorney’s job is to explain things to you and provide you with advice; however, some important decisions are ultimately yours to make. For example, whether you take your case to trial or not is a decision you make after consulting with your attorney.
- Take probation seriously. If you are sentenced to serve a period of time on probation, take the conditions of your probation seriously. You were likely sentenced to serve time in jail, but that time was suspended, and you were allowed to serve it on probation. If you violate your probation, however, you could be required to actually serve that original sentence in jail.
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing criminal charges in Tennessee it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyer at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.