If you are charged with a criminal offense in Alexandria the following are the biggest mistakes you need to avoid according to an Alexandria criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.
The biggest mistake when charged with a crime in Alexandria or elsewhere, is to give too much information to the police. Even though there’s a human instinct to cooperate with police and to give them what they want, a mistake is to provide them with too much information that they would not otherwise be able to obtain. This includes making outright admissions but also statements about the offense which you may think won’t incriminate you. Anything that corroborates the police version of events can be used against you to help the state prove your guilty, even a statement in which you profess your innocence.
Another common mistake is to not take your charges seriously. Even traffic offenses can be misdemeanors. A reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor in Virginia. Reckless driving can simply be speeding in excess of 80 miles per hour or going over 20 miles per hour above the speed limit.
A common mistake is to think that’s not a serious infraction when in fact it is a misdemeanor that can affect your employment, your future employment opportunities, and your security clearance. In general, taking any charge seriously is the best policy and that’s a common mistake that takes place. If you are charged with a crime the Commonwealth will take it seriously so you should, too.
Another mistake made by people charged with a crime is to not hire an attorney or if you do hire one, not communicating with your attorney. If charged with a crime, having an attorney is crucial to navigating the legal process to protect your interests every step of the way.
Trying to do it yourself can also lead to bad results. On top of that, just hiring an attorney alone is not sufficient—you must communicate openly and freely with them because the need to have the appropriate information to help fight your case in court. Withholding bad facts or not working with your attorney simply isn’t in your best interests.
One last mistake that often takes place is in cases in which there is a complaining witness or victim, is for the person accused to reach out to that victim to apologize or to explain himself or herself to that person. Or even worse, to threaten or harass the other person before trial. Any of these behaviors are big mistakes because oftentimes it will be a violation of the court’s no contact provision to contact the other person, but even if not it will provide more evidence for the commonwealth. If you call and try to apologize for an offense, that apology can be used as a consciousness of guilt and the prosecutor will use it if they think it benefits them. So reaching out to victims in between the charging document and the trial date is another mistake commonly seen in Alexandria.
There are numerous ways to avoid these mistakes. The best way to avoid the mistake, any mistake, is to hire an attorney right away because an attorney has experience with these mistakes, has seen how these mistakes have hurt people in the past, and can advise a client on how to avoid these mistakes. Having an attorney to represent your interests who can advise you before you make any action in your case is probably the best way to avoid making these mistakes.