Everyone likes to think that they will never have any brushes with the law and they will go through their lives free of having to deal with the problems that may arise. But the truth is, it happens a lot more often than you would think. It may be a simple speeding ticket or something altogether more serious. You may run a business and one of your employees ends up suing you or you are accused of stealing intellectual property. Regardless of what the problem is, it is much better to be fully prepared and aware of the steps that you need to take. So, here are the first things that you will want to do if you find yourself accused of a crime.
Take Quick Action
Once you know that you have been accused of something, you need to take action as soon as possible as it is a problem that is not going away. Even if it is a speeding ticket that you want to dispute, there will be a deadline of how quickly you need to do this. Taking no action could then result in further fines and more legal proceedings. But also recognise the situation that you are in and take your next step carefully. The last thing that you want to do is make things any more serious.
Recognise Not to Take Anything Lightly
Even if you know that you are 100 percent innocent, any charges that are brought against you are serious and need to be treated as such. You need to follow all the necessary processes carefully and don’t just assume that the criminal justice system will always be your best friend. Varying degrees of consequences are there depending what you have been accused of.
Get Professional Advice
Sometimes, a single consultation can give you all the information that you need, but other times you need a criminal defense law firm by your side. The law is an extremely complicated thing so it always helps to speak to a criminal defense lawyer who knows what they are talking about. Research the different firms that are out there and speak to one who specialises in the particular field you need. It may also be worth getting a second opinion to make sure you know all the courses of action that are available to you. But you will also want to be actively involved in your defense so you are fully aware what is happening and how the case is progressing. Also, if your request for bail has been approved, you may seek the services of a bail bondsman who can provide professional bail bonds services to help facilitate your release.
Be Aware What You Are Saying
You need to be careful with what you are saying to anyone as you never know who could be called to give evidence. Of course, most statements outside of the courtroom are hearsay and therefore inadmissible, but there are also many exceptions. Just remember to keep your calm and avoid speaking to people in too much detail about your particular case when it is still ongoing.
It is a good idea to write down details about the case as it is going on – when you were accused, when you spoke with your attorney, any phone calls you have received relating to it and what was said. This helps to give you a much clearer picture of exactly what is going on and you may need this information at a later date to help you out. The more accurate you can be, the better so note down times as well as dates. Even things that seem fairly innocuous at the time could prove to be useful at some point down the line.
Though you may have entrusted a defense team with most of the legwork of the case, it never hurts to be well informed of what is going on. The internet has provided an invaluable tool with a whole host of information that may prove to be useful to you. The finer details will be handled by the attorney, but you can still keep yourself up to date with a general overview of what is going on. This way, when your attorney tells you that something needs to be done, you can ask questions to get more details and you can be more proactive in your defense which is something that can help to provide you with peace of mind.
As well as educating yourself about the specifics of your particular case, you can also understand more about your rights if you are questioned by the police. Many people find that they have gotten themselves into more serious situations simply because they didn’t understand their own rights and what they should and shouldn’t do.
Think Back to Exactly What Happened
As well as making notes about the case as it is going on, it also helps to think about any key incidents. So, if you find that your business is being sued, you should examine the incidents that have led to this happening. Again, writing things down really helps to get a clear picture in your mind, and you can always go back to what you have written to add more information as it comes to you. Ultimately, the more information that you have, the more useful things your defense team may be able to work with.
Though this is a situation that no one ever wants to find themselves in, being wrongfully accused of a crime is always serious and can have consequences to match. So, you want to take action as quickly as you can and this usually comes in the form of getting some professional advice about what has happened. While the case in ongoing, you should keep records of what is going on and also write down information about any key incidents that have occurred in the past. And you should also try to educate yourself about exactly what is going on so you can take an active involvement in your defense and understand in more detail exactly what is going on at all times.