If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being arrested or charged with a criminal offense, or both, here are some essential things to remember. THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST, but following these this will help with your defense!
- DO NOT discuss what happened with any member of law enforcement. This includes police officers, investigators and district attorneys. If you are a suspect or are charged with a crime, you have the right to remain silent and you should exercise it to protect yourself, even when you know you are innocent.
- DO NOT discuss your case with your friends or family WHEN YOU ARE IN JAIL. Everyone is curious, and one of the first questions from a visiting friend or family member will be “What happened?” When this happens, do not answer. Just remember, whether it is an “in person” visit, or a jail phone call, the entire conversation is being recorded. And trust me, THEY LISTEN!
- DO NOT discuss your case over the phone with friends or family members when you are out of jail. This is especially true if an alleged victim in your case tries to call you. It is common for law enforcement investigators to try to find a friend of family member who will cooperate with them. In a case where there is an alleged victim, it will usually be that person. Once they find someone who will cooperate, the police will have that person call you and they will record the entire conversation. This is called a “pretext call” and it is used all the time.
- DO NOT discuss your case with friends, family members or an alleged victim in person even if you are out of custody. If the District Attorney finds out about the conversation, often they will issue a subpoena to force that person to come to court to testify about what you may have said.
- DO NOT violate any restraining orders that may be in place as a result of the charges. If the court issues a restraining order prohibiting you from contacting any person, follow that order. This includes having someone else contact them on your behalf. And remember, the word “contact” means any kind of contact including, but not limited to, telephone calls, e-mail, US Mail, and all forms of social media. EVEN IF THE PROTECTED PERSON IS THE ONE WHO INITIATES CONTACT, DON’T TAKE THE BAIT!
- DO NOT attempt to influence any witness to testify falsely or to not testify at all. Doing so will result in separate felony charges being filed against you.
- ONLY discuss your case with your attorney, your attorney’s investigator, or any expert witness retained by your attorney in preparation for trial. These conversations are covered by the attorney/client privilege.
- Consult an attorney as soon as possible about your case. In certain circumstances, you have valuable “time sensitive” rights that may be beneficial to you.
Remember, consultations at the Law Office of A. Todd Kuhnen are always free. If you would like to discuss these cautions further, please contact our office.
Telephone: (916) 724-5333