Charged with a Crime in Texas? What NOT to Do

Mistakes are a normal part of life. For many people, mistakes are an important part of the learning process. A close call or a near miss can actually be a sobering reminder of why you shouldn’t have been doing something dangerous or illegal in the first place.

However, some mistakes are bigger than others – and some are so big they land you in jail. Knowing how to handle yourself is the first step in taking charge of your situation and working to make it right.

At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we believe in second chances. We also stand up for people who have been unjustly accused of a crime. As Texas criminal defense lawyers, we tell our clients that knowing what to do in the event of an arrest is very important, but knowing what to avoid can be just as critical.

Don’t: Talk to Anyone about Your Case

Understandably, you probably want to share your side of the story with the people you care about. In a crisis, it’s normal to seek comfort from friends and loved ones. It’s also normal to want to reassure people of your innocence. However, this can seriously hurt your case if you inadvertently say something incriminating. The only person with whom you should discuss your case is your lawyer. Don’t discuss your case with the police, the prosecutor, or even your own friends and family members. The communications you have with your lawyer are confidential – the same cannot be said for communications, including jailhouse phone calls, you have with other people, including your parents or other family members.

Don’t: Be Rude to the Police

It’s just not a good idea, no matter how angry or frustrated you feel. If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, let an experienced and knowledgeable Texas criminal defense lawyer obtain justice on your behalf. Don’t give the police any opportunity to charge you with additional offenses.

Don’t: Waive Your Constitutional Rights

You have a constitutional right to legal counsel upon being taken into police custody or charged with a crime. The police are required to notify you of the right, however, this doesn’t mean they have to stop asking you questions in an attempt to elicit a confession or an admission against your interests. In fact, police are specifically trained in techniques designed to get suspects to talk. If the police pressure you to give them information beyond your personal details, such as your name and address, politely decline and continue to ask for your lawyer.

Don’t: Represent Yourself

The constitution guarantees the right of self-representation in criminal cases – something called pro se representation. However, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If you choose to act as your own lawyer, the judge will treat you like he or she would any other lawyer. That is, you will be expected to follow the same rules of procedure as anyone who has attended law school and passed the bar exam.

Criminal trials may look exciting and somewhat straightforward on television, but they are incredibly complicated and highly technical. Experienced criminal defense lawyers spend years learning their craft. Your future and your freedom are too important to risk.

Get Help from a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a crime is one of the scariest experiences anyone can have. The lawyers at Broden & Mickelsen, LLP are Board Certified in Criminal Law and Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. No matter what you’re facing, our lawyers can help. Call 24/7 to speak to a Texas criminal defense attorney about your case. Contact us or call 214-720-9552.

Mick Mickelsen is a nationally recognized criminal trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience defending people charged with white-collar crimes, drug offenses, sex crimes, murder, and other serious state and federal offenses.