5 Mistakes to Avoid When Facing Criminal Charges
Because Texas is known to have some of the harshest penalties for committing a crime in the US, it can be easy to panic when being stopped by an officer of the law. Facing any sort of criminal charge is going to cause a lot of stress. That’s why one of the first things you should do is remind yourself to try to stay calm and focused right from the beginning.
The things you say and do when you are being arrested are going to have a strong influence on the eventual verdict on the charges being brought against you. To give yourself the absolute best chance at securing a favorable outcome, do your best to avoid these common mistakes:
Mistake #5: Failing to Appear at Your Court Date
Many who face criminal charges in Texas don’t understand how the justice system works. After your initial arrest and release on bond, it is usually quite a length of time before your court date. Life is going to continue to happen in the meantime, so don’t make the all-too-common mistake of losing track of the court date and failing to show up.
If you do lose track of time and skip your appearance (accidentally or on purpose), the court will immediately issue a warrant to have you rearrested. When you eventually do have your day in court, trying to prove your innocence is going to be that much harder because you failed to show up the first time.
Mistake #4: Showing Up for Court Unprepared
You are going to want to make the impression that you are a responsible citizen when you appear in court. This doesn’t have to mean you wear a suit, but that would be an excellent choice if possible. A suit never hurts your image in court. No matter what you wear, make sure that they are your nicest clothes and that they are clean and neat. Treat your appearance in the same way. This shows you care about yourself to the court.
Beyond this, you always want to be on time with a general idea of what to expect. The best place to find this out is from your defense attorney who will be familiar with the details of your case and the judge you are about to appear before.
Mistake #3: Taking Legal Advice from Anyone Who is Not Your Attorney
It’s not uncommon to face criminal charges similar to those of someone you know who was able to get off without a conviction. Many people also know someone who is a paralegal or who went to law school a while back. In any of these cases, asking for advice on your case might seem like a smart idea. The reality is that your criminal defense strategy should be assembled by an experienced criminal defense attorney who is active and familiar with the court system you’ll be tried within.
Mistake #2: Acting as Your Lawyer and Representing Yourself
The nuances of the Texas Criminal Justice System can be overwhelming to someone who is not familiar. Getting the best outcome from your case will require someone with the ability to present the evidence effectively on your behalf. This person should be an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with the details of your case and the Denton County Courts.
The best thing you can do is reach out to a criminal defense attorney immediately upon being arrested. Make sure it is someone who has lots of experience defending charges like yours and then let them use their experience to put the facts of your defense together for you.
Mistake #1: Not Hiring the Best Affordable Attorney
Make no mistake about it, even if you are innocent, being charged with a crime in Texas is serious. The consequences of a conviction for criminal charges will, in many cases, last a lifetime. Quite literally, your reputation, freedom, and liberty are at stake. This is not the time to go with anyone other than the best you can afford to hire.
Quality Legal Representation in Denton Texas
Daniel K Peugh is a criminal attorney with 20 years of successfully arguing cases in front of judges in North Texas. Mr. Peugh has experience defending criminal charges of all kinds, including misdemeanors and complex felony cases, and may even be able to resolve your case without the need for trial.
If you have questions about the criminal charges that you or a family member are facing in Denton or the North Texas area, give us a call at 940.566 0271 to set up a free consultation today!