You may think that you’ll intuitively know what to do after you have been arrested and that you can just continue with your usual way of doing things. You may also have ideas about ways to avoid going through the legal process in Utah. The consequences of some mistakes after being arrested in Utah can make your situation much more serious. Here are some of the most serious mistakes to avoid during and after you are arrested in Utah.
Waiting Longer than Necessary to Call an Attorney
Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you find out that the police officers arresting you suspect that you have committed a crime. You need to have an experienced attorney acting to protect your rights as early as possible in the legal process. This may enable you to avoid the worst outcomes or possibly to have your charges dropped entirely.
Talking to Police Before Consulting with Your Lawyer
Don’t answer questions or make comments without a lawyer. Even if an officer fails to inform you of your right to remain silent, don’t agree to be interviewed at home, work, or at the police station without your attorney. The police believe you’re guilty of the crime for which they arrested you. So, they may perceive your explanation as trying to cover your crime. They can use whatever you say against you, take your words out of context, distort your comments, etc. So, it’s wisest to politely say you’ll meet with them after you consult with your attorney.
Running from Police or Otherwise Resisting Arrest
If you are approached by the police, do not panic. Just stay calm and be polite. You probably cannot prevent being arrested if a police officer has decided to do it. Resisting can be expected to make your circumstances worse, including causing the police arrest to be compounded with more charges added against you. Cooperate fully with law enforcement. Follow all their instructions. Exercise your right to remain silent, and call a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are permitted to make a call.
Talking with Friends and Family About the Accusation
Naturally, you will want to talk about the situation with people you trust. But, when you’re with your spouse, family members, or closest friend, you should keep your comments about the case very limited. The police may interview or call people closest to you as witnesses. So talking with family or friends about the details of your case can put them in a very difficult position. Let your lawyer be the person you confide in during your criminal defense case.
Being Careless on Social Media Sites
Don’t make assumptions or other comments about the allegations against you online. It’s advisable to stay away from your social accounts entirely during a criminal trial. Even posts that are not relevant to the case can be construed as reflecting poorly on your character. Consult your attorney before deleting anything. If you have a lot of online connections with people you don’t know in the real world, you would be well advised to stay off that site until the trial is over.
Traveling Out of the State
Do not leave the state during the trial process. Before crossing the state line for any reason, speak with your attorney. One of the most serious mistakes you can make is to attempt to run from the trial process or do anything that may appear to be fleeing from the law. It doesn’t work, and that action will trigger the court to issue a warrant for your arrest. Speak with your attorney before planning to travel out of your area.
Making Contact with an Alleged Victim
You may believe that talking with your accuser could help correct any misunderstanding and change the person’s thinking about what has happened. That is unlikely. It is more probable that the arresting police officer will view it as intimidating a witness. Also, do not communicate with an alleged victim who tries to contact you. The accuser may be working with law enforcement to obtain recorded comments from you.
Missing Required Court Appearances
Be sure that you do not fail to show up when you’re told to appear in court. Missing an appearance, or being late for court makes a defendant look irresponsible and disrespectful to the judge. Have a lawyer representing you in your court hearings. If you haven’t hired an attorney yet, arrive early, dress appropriately, conduct yourself respectfully, and tell the judge you need time to get a lawyer before you proceed to make your case.
Making a Bad Impression in Court
How you present yourself in court matters. Dress conservatively. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. Wear shoes that are in good repair. Consider getting a conservative haircut. Shave or trim facial hair for a tidy appearance. Use a teeth whitener. Sit up straight in your chair and be still. Don’t make distracting gestures, tap on the table, or tap your foot. Have some general understanding of laws impacting your case.
Throwing Away Potential Evidence
After you throw away an item on the ground or in the trash at your home, your right to privacy does not apply to it. The police are free to search for it without a warrant and take it. Do not try to throw away evidence in your home trash, or cast off drugs or a weapon if a police officer arrests you on the highway.
Call Wasatch ASAP After You’re Arrested
Wasatch Defense Lawyers will provide you with a free case evaluation. We also offer affordable payment arrangements if you need them.
If you’re arrested in Utah, call Wasatch Defense Attorneys at (801) 980-9965, or contact us here online for an appointment for guidance and an evaluation of your legal case.
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