If charged with a criminal offense in Ohio, the biggest mistakes to be avoided so that the situation doesn’t get worse are:
Having a conversation with police: One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when charged with a crime in Ohio (or anywhere) is speaking with law enforcement. It’s important to be polite and truthful and to identify yourself if asked, it’s never a good idea to get into a conversation about the situation. This mistake happens often because law enforcement will say that you are free to go if you simply tell what happened. Speaking with police without a criminal defense attorney will do nothing but build evidence against you to charge you with a crime. Never try to explain your conduct or behavior. Any statement you make will be used against you later at trial. Politely refuse to speak to the police. It is your right to remain silent.
Telling anyone about your case: Once you are charged with a crime in Ohio, don’t speak of your case with your friends or family and refrain from posting anything on social media that might reveal anything about your case to anyone beyond your criminal defense attorney. Law enforcement and prosecutors know how to find information online. They know how to dig for witnesses, friends, and enemies, thus anything you might say on social media will be there to use against you.
Never reach out to a complaining witness: Often people make the mistake of trying to apologize or make things right. If the charge is pending, it’s already out of the hands of the other person or victim. The prosecutor will decide whether the case will proceed even if the victim no longer wants to prosecute. Anything you say will be used against you. An apology can be looked at as an admission of guilt, so to prove their case, the prosecutor will use that. Trying to get someone to dismiss charges either by threats or even by being kind and apologizing is not in your best interest if you’ve already been charged with a crime and worse, it can often be used to hurt you at trial.
The Bottom Line: Biggest mistake of all is not hiring a criminal defense attorney. Having an attorney puts you at an advantage with access to discovery of evidence, experience, preparation of your defense. When you’re charged with any crime, the consequences can be serious. Employment status is jeopardized, as you miss work due to court hearings or being jailed or suffer the stigma of a criminal conviction. A criminal record could prevent you from finding gainful employment; jeopardize admission to college or obtaining financial aid for college. Call me: 513.260.2099