What Are The Most Common Mistakes People Make After An Arrest?
The most common mistakes that I see are: (1) contacting the complainant, (2) violating a protective order by going back to the protected address, and (3) talking about the case with friends or family members.
Don’t talk to the complainant after you bond out. Period. Why would you want to talk to someone who has caused you to be charged with a crime? It’s a terrible idea! Don’t do it. There may be a time and place when it’s appropriate to talk to the complainant in your case, but that’s something you’ll need to discuss with your lawyer first. In the meantime, never ever talk with the person who put you in jail. It almost always does more harm than good.
If you’ve signed a protective order, don’t violate it! I don’t care if it’s your house and your clothes and all your stuff are there. I don’t care if the complainant isn’t going to be there when you go to get your stuff. You can’t go back to the house period. If you do, you will be arrested. The complainant can’t give you permission to go back to the house. If you go there and you’re arrested, you’ll be charged with violating a protective order and your bond will be revoked. There will be very little, I, or any other lawyer, can do to defend you if you’ve been physically arrested at the protected address.
Some complainants will even try to bait you into coming back to the house precisely so you can be arrested again. And even if the complainant “gives you permission” to come over and isn’t there when you get to the house to grab your things, what guarantee is there that the neighbors won’t call the police on you when they see you’re back at the house? None. So just don’t do it. If you really need to get things out of the house, make arrangements for a friend or family member to get them for you.
Finally, don’t talk about the case with your family or friends. Only talk about the case with your lawyer. Your family and friends are not bound to keep your secrets. If your relationship sours with those friends and family members, or if they feel more sympathy towards the complainant than you, you may find those former friends and family members testifying against you at your trial. And for God’s sake, don’t post about your case on social media. Even if you feel terribly wronged, even if you are truly innocent, just don’t do it. Prosecutors can, and will, find ways to use what you say online against you, even If your posts seem harmless.
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