Best Behavior: 7 Things to Avoid If You’re Fighting Criminal Charges

It doesn’t matter if you know that you’re innocent — if there is the possibility that you may be facing criminal charges, you need to be proactive in bolstering your defense and do your very best to avoid situations that could lower your chance of a successful outcome.

Here at Leyba Defense, our criminal defense attorney, Matthew Leyba, has litigated over 100 jury trials to verdict and is known for aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome for the cases of his clients. If you are facing criminal charges, contact Leyba Defense today to secure expert legal counsel for your case.

fighting criminal charges

In the meantime, here are 6 things you need to avoid as you prepare to fight your criminal charges.

1. Do Not Talk To The Police

Regardless of if you were caught in a bar fight, or were pulled over for driving under the influence, DO NOT talk to the police. If there is the possibility that you could be presented with criminal charges, you are under no obligation to answer questions from law enforcement. Exercise your right to remain silent and don’t share any information about the situation with police until you’ve been counseled by a defense attorney on what information is safe to share.

2. Do Not Talk With Your Friends Or Family

Likewise, do not share any information about the event with your friends or family. I know, this can be difficult, especially if it means not informing your spouse about what happened, but sharing details about the situation with others opens them up to liability and increases the chance of someone else leaking details and hurting your case.

Never share any information about the event with anyone, until you’ve talked with a criminal defense attorney and been counseled on what information is safe to share.

3. Do Not Post About The Event On Social Media

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who are involved in a possibly criminal event or exchange and then immediately take to Facebook or Snapchat to live stream or post about what happened — usually sharing far too many details and incriminating themselves in the process.

Don’t do this. If you shouldn’t share information about the event with police or family members, then you definitely shouldn’t be posting about it on social media.

4. Do Not Destroy Evidence

After reading the last section, you may be thinking “Oh no! I already posted about the event on social media!”

If so, wait! Don’t go and delete your Facebook post just yet. Doing so could be considered destroying evidence, which would be adding another criminal charge to your case. Deleting, blocking, or hiding social media posts is an action that can be used against you in court and seems to insinuate guilt on your part.

There are situations in which you may delete posts though, but determining what is safe to delete is tricky business, so it is crucial that you speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney before pressing the “Delete” button.

Just like digital evidence, you should never destroy any other object that could be considered evidence of the event. Destroying evidence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and can incur massive fines and jail time.

5. Do Not Contact The Other Party

Let’s say you got into a bar fight with a friend. The police got involved and now your friend is pressing charges against you. In an effort to mend bridges, you decide to stop by your friend’s house and apologize.

DO NOT do this.

Apologizing to the other party means that you are admitting guilt, and even a short phone call asking to talk about the situation could be twisted by the other side to insinuate that you were admitting fault. Never contact the other party.

6. Do Not Contact Witnesses

Similarly to the last point, do not contact any of the witnesses to the event without permission from your criminal defense attorney. Even a brief conversation with a witness could be misconstrued as you interfering with witness testimony.

Interfering with a witness’s testimony is a criminal act and can get you charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

Explicit examples of interfering with witness testimony include:

  • Asking a witness to testify about the case in a certain way (e.g. asking them to not share certain details, or to not testify against you).
  • Offering witness money or some other material or nonmaterial benefit if they testify in a certain way.
  • Threatening a witness in any way (e.g. property damage, physical violence, blackmail).

Hire A Lawyer

One of the worst things you could do is to assume that your case will simply “work out.” Criminal charges are serious and should never be taken lightly. Here are some resources that can answer questions or lead you in the right direction.

From the very beginning of your interaction with police or arrest, you should be taking every precaution to protect your case. This includes speaking with and hiring a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

If there is even the slightest possibility that you could be charged with a crime or DUI, contact Leyba Defense and speak with our expert criminal defense attorney, Matthew Leyba. He has spent years vigorously defending people like you, who are wrongly facing criminal charges. Don’t gamble with your future. Speak with Matthew Leyba today.