10 Common Mistakes People Make When Facing Criminal ChargesFacing criminal charges can be a frightening and stressful experience. Whether you’re innocent or guilty, working your way through the legal system requires careful consideration and strategic decision-making. Unfortunately, many individuals make critical mistakes that can jeopardize their defense and lead to unfavorable outcomes. In today’s blog, we’ll explore the common mistakes to avoid when facing criminal charges and offer advice on how to protect your rights and build a strong defense.

1. Failure to remain silent

One of the most fundamental rights you have when facing criminal charges is the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so exercise caution when interacting with law enforcement. Avoid the temptation to explain your side of the story or provide unnecessary information without consulting with your Annapolis criminal defense attorney first. Even seemingly innocent statements can be misinterpreted or misconstrued, potentially harming your case.

2. Neglecting to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney

Perhaps the most significant mistake you can make is failing to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, I can serve as your advocate, providing essential guidance, support, and expertise throughout every stage of the legal process. Attempting to handle your case alone or relying on a public defender without the necessary experience can significantly affect the outcome of your case.

3. Delaying legal action

Time is of the essence when facing criminal charges. Delaying legal action or procrastinating in hiring an attorney can severely hinder your defense strategy. Promptly seeking legal representation allows us to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and develop a strong defense strategy to counter the prosecution’s case effectively. Waiting too long to take action can limit your attorney’s ability to build a compelling defense on your behalf.

4. Discussing your case on social media

In today’s digital age, many individuals make the mistake of discussing their criminal cases on social media platforms. Posting about your legal situation or sharing details of the incident can have serious consequences and may be used against you in court. Prosecutors often scour social media for incriminating evidence, so refrain from discussing your case online and exercise caution with your online activity during this time.

5. Failing to understand your rights

Knowledge is power when facing criminal charges. You should fully understand your rights under the law, including your right to remain silent, your right to legal representation, and your right to a fair trial. Educate yourself about the charges against you, the potential consequences, and the legal process ahead. A lack of understanding can leave you vulnerable and at a disadvantage when navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system. Our criminal defense attorneys can answer all of your questions.

6. Ignoring the importance of evidence

Building a strong defense requires careful attention to evidence. Failing to preserve evidence, gather witness statements, or document important details of the incident can weaken your defense and limit your attorney’s ability to effectively represent you. Take proactive steps to collect and preserve evidence that supports your case, and provide this information to your attorney as soon as possible. The earlier you speak with an attorney, the better our chances of gathering valuable evidence.

7. Failing to follow court orders

Compliance with court orders and deadlines is essential when facing criminal charges. Failing to appear for court hearings, disregarding probation requirements, or violating court orders can result in additional charges, harsher penalties, or the revocation of your bail. Always follow the instructions provided by the court and maintain open communication with your attorney regarding any legal obligations or requirements.

8. Neglecting to consider plea bargaining

While going to trial is an option, plea bargaining can often result in more favorable outcomes for individuals facing criminal charges. Failing to consider plea bargaining as a viable option can be a significant mistake. I can help you explore the possibility of plea negotiations and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of accepting a plea deal versus going to trial.

9. Underestimating the severity of the situation

Facing criminal charges is a serious matter with potentially life-altering consequences. Underestimating the severity of the situation or assuming that the charges will simply go away on their own can be a grave mistake. Take the charges against you seriously, and prioritize your defense by seeking out qualified legal representation and diligently following your attorney’s guidance. At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we can help.

10. Ignoring the emotional toll

We understand that dealing with criminal charges can take a significant emotional toll on you and your loved ones. Ignoring the emotional impact of the situation or failing to seek support can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Don’t hesitate to lean on friends, family, or mental health professionals for support during this challenging time.

Avoiding these common mistakes is essential when facing criminal charges. Remember, your future is at stake, so make informed decisions and prioritize your defense every step of the way.

Are you facing criminal charges and need help? Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law is here to provide experienced legal guidance every step of the way. We have offices in Annapolis and Ellicott City to better serve our clients. Call today or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment.

And remember — Keep Calm, and Call Drew.