Common mistakes that people make in criminal defense cases

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense

People facing criminal charges must think about just about everything they do until their situation has been resolved. As such, they generally need to work with a legal representative who can help them stay on track and help to ensure that they don’t do anything that will impact their case negatively.

If you are facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing, you’ll need to know what common errors criminal defendants make before you can avoid them. These are some of the major issues that you might be able to avoid via planning and attention to detail.

Failing to invoke Miranda rights

One of the most critical errors a defendant can make when facing criminal charges begins at the moment of interaction with law enforcement. Many defendants fail to invoke their Miranda rights effectively. These rights entitle a person to remain silent and to an attorney during police questioning. Not clearly stating the desire to remain silent can lead to self-incrimination, as anything the defendant says can be used against them in court.

Making self-incriminating statements on recorded lines

After being detained, defendants often discuss their cases over jail phones, which are routinely monitored and recorded by the correctional facility. Conversations on these phones lack any form of privacy, and prosecutors can directly use any admissions or details discussed as evidence in court. Defendants must assume that all communications from jail aren’t confidential.

Consenting to searches without a warrant

Another standard error is consenting to searches without a warrant. Defendants may allow law enforcement to search their property, digital devices or vehicle without a warrant, either because they are unaware of their right to refuse or fear that refusal might seem suspicious. However, anything found during these searches can be used as evidence against the defendant, regardless of the initial charges.

Posting about the case on social media

It’s not uncommon for people to relay every aspect of their life on social media. For those facing criminal charges, this can be detrimental because these posts can usually be accessed by law enforcement officers and used in court. In some cases, it’s not what’s said or shown that matters, it’s the perception of these matters.

These errors can significantly compromise a defendant’s position in criminal proceedings. To avoid these pitfalls, defendants should exercise their rights wisely, seek legal assistance and engage actively in their defense strategy from the outset.