Facing a criminal charge is a pretty challenging experience, yet there’s always a bright side to everything. There is no easy way to deal with being accused of a crime, whatever it may be, but following the right procedures and understanding exactly what you are being charged with is what you should focus on. Understanding how extremely stressful the situation is, we bring you these tips explaining what you need to do to handle facing a criminal charge.
What It Means to Be Charged with Crime
Being charged with a crime means that you are unlucky enough to be connected in any way to the crime by either being seen at the scene of the crime, happen to be in contact with the victim, or anything that relates you to what happened. This being said, being charged means there is initial evidence that says that you may be the one who committed the crime. The situation is still hopeful since initial evidence may be easily proven to be unrelated to the crime itself; it was nothing more than an unfortunate coincidence.
Learn the Level of the Crime
Crimes are either simple assaults, or misdemeanor, or an aggravated assault, or felony. Simple assaults are still crimes, and no one wants to have any criminal record, but according to https://www.criminallawyer-nj.com/violent-crimes/assault-and-battery/penalties-for-simple-assault/, the penalty for simple assaults is usually either a maximum of a $1000 fine or jail time for less than a year. The penalty for aggravated assault, on the other hand, depends on the crime itself, but it is considered a serious crime that may result in spending a long time in jail. Understanding the level of the crime you are accused of is crucial to taking the next steps, which include the lawyer you will need to hire, the expected budget needed to cover the lawyer fees and court time, and an average estimate of the worst-case scenario penalty.
Prepare a Defense Plan
After learning the type of crime, the evidence submitted by the prosecutor, whether you’re innocent or guilty, and if you’re guilty then how involved you are in the crime, the picture becomes much clearer for your attorney and for you. Your defense attorney then can decide on which strategy is best for your situation. To reach the best outcome, you must be completely honest with your attorney. There can be no surprises during the trial, or your case can miserably fail.
Stay Positive and Practical
Worrying about the trial will not get you anywhere. Overstressing will only make things worse; it will make you unable to think clearly, which may lead to wasting vital points that can be key to proving your innocence or reaching the best outcome for your case. The fact is that you’re facing a criminal charge, and fixating on that point will only make it more difficult to find a solution.
Choose the Right Defense Attorney
A professional, well-experienced defense attorney is key to getting out of this situation, which is why you should never rush when choosing one. Research defense attorneys and ask friends and family to recommend some for you. Check the potential defense attorney’s record and how experienced they are, and whether this type of charge is their specialty. You may even choose more than one lawyer; one lawyer for the first stage or the opening of the case and then another for the rest of the journey. Make sure you trust the lawyer you choose since mutual trust is critical to building the best defense case. Another thing to be careful of is to not let any lawyer pressure you into hiring them. Time is not exactly on your side, but you have enough of it to make a wise decision.
Be Confident and Presentable
Whatever the charges you are facing are, being presentable and confident in court is vital to support your defense. There are two phases in defense; phase one is the defense strategy, and phase two is how convincing you and your attorney are to the judge and the jury. The proof is undoubtedly the basis of the case, but so is how your performance supports this proof.
Being accused of any criminal act is not an ideal situation, but you are not alone. Many people have been either wrongfully accused of crimes or broke some rules that aren’t that serious, but since the said rule is law-breaking it is a crime. This may even turn into one of the funniest stories you tell your friends and family if the charge is simple. Just remember to focus on the positive side and be practical and presentable.