Wrong Place, Wrong Time: 3 Things Anyone Accused of a Crime Needs to Know

Were you in the wrong place at the wrong time? If you've been accused of a crime, there are several important things you need to know.

Dealing with the legal system may seem strange or uncomfortable if you've never been arrested for. Whether you're guilty of the criminal charges you're being accused of or you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's important to understand that anyone can be accused of a crime. Maybe someone thought you were shoplifting when you were just shopping. Perhaps someone accused you of defamation when you were being truthful. The possibilities of false accusations and charges without basis are endless. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, it's important to keep these three things in mind.

Don't speak without your attorney present

No matter how tempting it may be to "hurry up" and get things over with, speaking without an attorney will not expedite the legal process. In fact, speaking without an attorney present is one of the worst things you can do. You may be tricked into giving personal information away that can indicate you are guilty, even if you are not. Your attorney understands the legal system. They can help you understand which questions you should answer, which ones you should avoid, and how much information to provide when you do speak.

Remember that the legal system can be slow

Unfortunately, if you have been accused of a crime, you may find that the legal system operates slowly. Whether you were actually arrested or you're simply waiting for your court date, make sure you remain patient throughout the legal process. Filing paperwork, meeting with your attorney, and arranging court appearances is a complicated process that doesn't happen overnight. While you likely want to hurry up and move forward with your life, understand this will take awhile. Try to be as patient as possible.

Follow instructions carefully

If your attorney tells you to remain quiet, listen. If they urge you to speak, do it. If you're told not to leave the state, don't. One of the most important things you can do when being accused or charged with a crime is to pay attention to the directions that are given to you. Don't make yourself look guilty simply because you don't want to listen to the people around you. Instead, make sure you follow the legal instructions you receive precisely.

No matter what type of situation you're dealing with, your attorney can help guide you. Make sure you speak with an attorney as soon as you realize you're being charged with a crime so they can help you. Your lawyer will not only be able to represent you in court, but will defend you throughout the entire legal experience so you have the best chance at moving forward and reclaiming your life.