One of the biggest fears in life is the possibility of facing criminal charges. Some people may argue that it is the worst fear because they could face time away from their family of loss of a job. As a criminal defense lawyer, I see this happen everyday. Clients come to the office and explain what happened on the date of the alleged crime. I tell them it will be OK and we can get through this. And the truth is, we can get through this. Criminal charges can be managed and you will survive. So if you’ve been charged with a crime, here are 10 Quick tips to help you get through the process as successfully as possible.
“Just because you’ve been charged with a crime, doesn’t mean you’re a criminal” – Attorney Randolph Rice
Tip #1 Talk to A Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Not only will this be good for your case and defense, but it will help to sooth the soul. You may have never been through this process before, but a criminal defense lawyer has handle this hundreds if not thousands of times before. He can tell you what to expect and what you should be doing to prepare for your case.
Tip #2 Don’t talk to Anyone About Your Case
The more people you talk to about your case, the more people the State can use against you. What I mean by that is, when you tell someone what happened, they are now a witness. They may not have witnessed the alleged crime, but your statements to them can now be used against you in Court. Maybe as an inconsistent statement. So, keep your mouth shut about the case.
Tip #3 Don’t Talk On the Phone if You’re in Jail
The jails in Maryland record phone calls, if you talk on the phone, then the State can use that recorded phone conversation against you in Court.
Tip #4 Get Counseling if You Need It
Is the crime that you are alleged to have committed a product of an addiction? Have you been struggling with drugs or alcohol? If you think there was an underlying issue that you were dealing with and you never addressed in the past, now if the time to see an expert about the issue. Ask you lawyer for a referral. All good criminal defense lawyers have experts they can refer you to for any issues you may be dealing with.
Tip #5 Write Down What Happened
We all wish we had perfect memory, but the fact is we don’t. Write down what happened and keep it in a safe and secure place. Don’t share it with anyone but your lawyer. This may be helpful. The police that responded wrote a report that they can reference if your case goes to Court. Shouldn’t you have the same reference? So write it all down, the good and the bad, so you remember what happened.
Tip #6 Criminal Charges Can Go Away
Criminal charges can go away, but this is usually only after the State’s Attorney and your lawyer talk about the case at length. If your lawyer convinces the State that they cannot prove the case, then the State has the option of dropping the case, also called a nolle prosequi in Maryland.
Tip #7 Save Money Before the Trial Date
For some types of criminal charges and cases, the victims are looking for money. Not to say they wanted the crime to occur to make money. But, if they are going to get back what they lost, then they may be more inclined to suggest that they don’t want to proceed with the case. That is not to say the State will still want to go forward. It will only help if on the trial date you can pay back what was lost.
Tip #8 Don’t Commit Another Crime While Pending Trial
Nothing looks worse when you show up in Court and you have another trial date for another set of charges in the future. So, stay out of trouble while you are pending trial for your case.
Tip #9 Stay Away From the Victims
If there are victims in your case, stay away from them. Don’t go near their house or place of employment. Steer clear of any place they could be. It is easy to show up in Court and tell the prosecutor that you have had no contact with the victims. This shows them that you can do what the Court will want you to do at the end of the day.
Tip #10 Hire Counsel
I know I mentioned this twice, but it is so important. Statistically, you will do better in Court if you have a lawyer looking out for your interests. Particularly if you are facing jail. If you have to go to Court and you could go to jail, then you should have a lawyer standing next to you.
If you’ve been charge criminally in Maryland, contact the Randolph Rice criminal defense lawyers at 410.288.2900. We will schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you. Don’t wait, call the office today and get some peace of mind.