If you’re charged with a crime, even a minor one, it becomes a matter of public record that could come back to haunt you. For serious charges or people with a criminal history, incarceration is a strong possibility. But at times guilty people go free and innocent people are punished. When you’re facing with a criminal court case, here are five mistakes you should avoid:

Passing Up Legal Counsel

When you’re arrested, have someone get in touch with a bail bonds company to effect your release. If you can get out, the first thing you should do is find an attorney. Ask a public defender if you can’t afford a lawyer. Never try to defend yourself or tell an experienced attorney how to do their job. You’re more likely to make things worse than to make a good impression on the judge or jury. Click here to find more information about bail bonds.

Reject the Plea Offer

Often prosecutors will offer a plea deal to avoid the time and expense of going to trial. Even if you feel you’re innocent or don’t like the terms of the deal, it’s going to be significantly less than the punishment you could get if the matter goes to trial. Follow your lawyer’s advice, but don’t reject the plea bargain as a gamble.

Insist on Testifying

The Fifth Amendment says that a defendant need not testify at their own trial. Defense lawyers rarely have defendants testify, and for good reason. Even if you’re determined to give your side of the story, any kind of admission, inconsistency, mistruth, or omissions in testimony may be discovered and used against you. Needless or bad testimony will only hurt your chances.

Talk about Your Case

Do not talk about your case with other inmates. Many informants have been created through hopes of making deals of their own in exchange for testimony. Also, don’t discuss the case on the telephone with family and friends. Phone calls from jails are recorded and may also become evidence. Don’t discuss your case with anyone without your lawyer present.

Try to Arrange an Alibi

Many defendants assume the best chance of getting off is to set up an alibi who will claim you were somewhere else at the time of the crime. However, if their testimony is exposed as false, they could be looking at jail time for perjury, and you’ll be in worse trouble than ever. Faking an alibi will only make you look guilty.
Depending on the degree of the crime, waiting for your time in court could be stressful or downright frightening. Be sensible. Do everything you can to work toward the best outcome.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.