You’ve probably heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” As much as people want to think criminal defendants are innocent, this isn’t always the case.
If you’ve ever been charged with a criminal offense or know someone who went through the ordeal, here are top four criminal defense tips that you should know:
Ignorance Is Not an Excuse
There are people who are unaware that what they did was a crime. Unfortunately, a criminal defense lawyer in Houston cannot defend you using this strategy. Ignorance of the law does not make one innocent.
Keeping Your Mouth Shut May Protect You
Panic often coerces defendants to divulge sensitive information, making it easy for people to prove your guilt despite the lack of evidence. If someone accuses you of committing a crime, the best thing to do is to stay quiet and call a lawyer.
Invoke Your Right to Avoid Self-Incrimination
Clamming up can save you from incriminating yourself further, but you need to invoke your right to do so. You must tell the police officer that you have the constitutional right to remain silent until a lawyer comes to you. Officers may ask you for basic information such as your name, but do not provide more than what is necessary.
Know Your Rights
As an American citizen, you have rights that will protect you in times of danger. The best you can do is to know your rights so you don’t end up incriminating yourself and endangering people around you. Know that it is illegal for police officers to search your house or any property without your consent or a search warrant issued by a judge. You have every right to deny entry if they don’t have the proper documentation.
You have the right to be represented by an experienced lawyer. In cases of arrest, you have to declare that you are using your right to legal protection. This is especially useful when officers try to ask you questions and when shaping the course of your criminal defense proceedings.