If you are charged with a crime but are innocent, it may seem overwhelming and unfair. You did nothing wrong, but no one seems to believe you. Learn what you can do in this situation to protect yourself.
Get an Attorney
If you are charged with a crime, the first thing you should do is get a criminal law attorney to represent you. Even though you believe you are innocent, you absolutely must have legal representation because the system assumes you are guilty (yes, you are innocent until proven guilty, but that is at trial; until that point, everyone you encounter in the system assumes you are guilty). An experienced criminal attorney understands how best to navigate the system while protecting you as much as possible. Their expertise is absolutely necessary.
Never Speak for Yourself
Never, ever speak to the DA’s office on your own. You may believe you are innocent, but you were charged for a reason, meaning the DA believes they can prove the case against you. Speaking to them on your own will only further complicate your case because anything you say can be used against you. While you may have the best of intentions, attempting to argue your case can create more legal trouble for you. You could actually end up with more charges against you if you speak to them. Tell them you have nothing to say without your attorney.
Take It Seriously
No matter how certain you are that you are innocent, being charged with a crime is a serious matter that can have severe implications for your future. Do not assume that the DA, judge, or jury will easily understand that you did nothing wrong. You will need to devote time and resources to your defense. The outcome of your case does not depend on whether you are innocent or not. It depends on whether your attorney can convince the judge or jury of your innocence. You need a skilled, experienced attorney who takes the time to completely investigate your case and create a vociferous defense on your behalf.
The DA’s office is not looking for evidence to exonerate you. You and your legal team are the only ones interested in that. Gather any evidence you have that supports your case, including:
- GPS tracking
- Phone records
You should also make a list of witnesses who can corroborate your position and support your version of the case. Make detailed notes for your attorney of everything you remember about the day in question.
Consider a Plea Deal
Your attorney will meet with the DA and discuss possible plea deals. It might seem foolish to consider taking a plea when you are innocent. Most cases that go to trial result in convictions, so it is important to consider any deals your attorney can negotiate. They can help you decide your best course of action.
Things NOT to Do
In addition to all the proactive steps above, please keep in mind that you should never:
- Destroy any evidence that you think hurts your case
- Talk to the victim or people who are witnesses against you – do not try to change anyone’s mind
- Agree to DNA testing or any testing the police or DA requests without your attorney’s approval or unless there is a warrant to obtain DNA
- Agree to any voluntary searches without your attorney’s approval
- Speak alone with the police or prosecutors
- Leave the state unless your attorney says you can do so
Being charged with a crime is a weighty matter. If you have been charged with a crime, you want a respected attorney to handle your case. The lawyers at Burnham Law are experienced in criminal law and are ready to take your case. Contact us today at 303-990-5308 to schedule a time to get started.