You’ve just been arrested. You might feel like things can’t possibly get worse. But, what you may not realize is that by making certain mistakes, you could jeopardize your entire case. Criminal law is immensely complex and the justice system is practically impossible to navigate without legal skill and experience. Many crimes have a range of punishments. For example, for a first DWI offense, you face (among other penalties) between three and 180 days in jail. Your actions or inactions can affect the length of your sentence and even whether you are convicted.
Some of the specific ways you can jeopardize your criminal case include:
- Talking to police — It is your right to remain silent — you do not have to say a word to police. Discussing your arrest in any level of detail with officers may severely harm your case.
- Consenting to a search — Generally, police need either a warrant or your consent to search your home or vehicle. If police ask for your consent, it means they need it. Consenting to a police search prior to speaking with your San Antonio criminal defense lawyer may result in further charges against you.
- Not hiring a skilled attorney — If you cannot afford a lawyer, the State can provide you with representation at no charge. However, if you care about your freedom or winning, avoid taking the public defender. These hardworking individuals are forced to take on numerous cases at once, preventing them from giving any one client sufficient attention.
- Lying or failing to divulge information to your lawyer — To construct a solid defense for you, your lawyer must have the full and accurate account of your arrest. If you lie or purposely leave out details, your case may suffer down the road.