All people make mistakes. And mistakes have consequences. Sometimes those consequences can land you in jail. This can be a scary time in that person’s life. There are many looming questions and anxieties that can leave a person vulnerable to make snap decisions and judgements that you may regret. To avoid these pitfalls, here is a list of the top 5 things to avoid while in jail.
- Demand to Play an Active Role in Your Defense – We’ve said this before, but do not try to defend yourself, particularly when your freedom is on the line. Hire an attorney. An attorney is trained and well versed in what arguments and evidence the opposition is going to look for. Many people do not trust attorneys, which might make it hard for an individual to relinquish the thought of defending his or her self. But nobody knows the law better than a trained attorney; and having one on your side is only going to help the situation. Remember, this is chess, not checkers. Instant gratification must be tempered with the understanding that each act now has an impact in the future.
- Going to Court Because They Do Not Like the State’s Plea Offer – Once again, this is where having and trusting an attorney can come in handy. It is never wise to quickly dismiss an option. Sometimes the plea deal can be a far better option than going to trial. The reasons vary from a cost benefit analysis, whether it is the public spectacle of the event, or the financial burden that trials can take. Having an attorney by your side, can help you make the distinction between a good plea deal versus a bad plea deal.
- Commit Perjury – Perjury is a fancy word for lying. As a child, my mother always told me that nothing good ever comes from lying. And the same is true for the court room. Attorneys and judges make their careers out of figuring out who is lying and who isn’t. Do not demand to testify just to commit perjury. It is a waste of your time, and your attorney’s time, all of which can have major repercussions on your case. Moreover, it is illegal, and your attorney will not go along with it.
- Talk About Your Case with the Inmates – Silence is often the best practice in most cases. And in this case the less you talk about your case, the less you are to concede an important detail that can be used to hurt you. Even if that detail is irrelevant, it can still be used maliciously when used outside of context. Silence is truly golden under these circumstances.
- Make a Statement to Police Without an Attorney Present– This is probably the biggest mistake anybody facing criminal charges can commit. First, it isn’t fair to the person being questioned to face an interrogator by themselves. An attorney can come in and help you formulate an appropriate theory of defense. Second, this ties into our last point, that staying silent is often the best plan. Call your attorney and get assistance. An attorney can help you formulate an accurate description of your testimony, that can’t be misused or exploited.
The attorneys of The Sodhi Law Group have helped literally hundreds of people who have found themselves in these situations. If you need legal counsel or a family member or loved one has found themselves under this type of duress, then please call us at (209) 900-8200 or fill out our web form! One of our staff will contact you and get you on the right track.