There were more than 250,000 people arrested for alleged criminal acts throughout New York State in 2020, or around 700 people every day. However, even people arrested for the same crimes can have wildly different outcomes to their cases, depending on what they choose to do after their arrest. Here are five common mistakes people make when accused of a crime, which can negatively affect their ability to defend themselves:
- Trying to explain themselves to the police
- The police are always happy to listen to someone’s explanation as to why they should not be arrested for a crime. Not because it is beneficial to the defendant, of course, but so they can take a statement and use it as evidence against them. That is why, when you are accused of a crime, the best thing to do is to exercise your right to remain silent, because you might just incriminate yourself instead.
- Refusing to object to a search
- The police cannot normally search your residence without a warrant. However, if you allow them in your home of your own free will, they can come in and search without a warrant. That is why they will do their best to try to convince you to let them in your home if they suspect you of a crime, and that is exactly why you should not let them in unless they have a warrant.
- Resisting arrest
- That being said, if you are ultimately arrested for a crime, resisting arrest is the last thing you should do. Not only are you unlikely to escape from the police, but they may add a charge of resisting arrest, which will complicate your case. The best thing to do if the police try to arrest you is to simply comply, while still exercising your right to remain silent.
- Voluntarily giving blood, urine, or saliva
- The police may ask you to give blood, urine, or saliva as part of an investigation, but unless the request is backed by a warrant, you have no obligation to give it. They will ask for these fluids so they can get your DNA, which they can use to try to tie you to a crime. In the case of blood or urine, they may also be able to test for drugs, potentially letting them prosecute you for a drug-related offense.
- Not getting a lawyer
- Finally, one of the biggest mistakes people make is they try to defend themselves in court. If you do not know anything about criminal law or procedure, though, you can do yourself much more harm than good. That is why, if you are accused of a crime, you should contact a lawyer with knowledge of criminal law who can advise you on your rights and assist with your legal defense.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a criminal offense, you will need legal counsel to help you preserve your rights and work to get the best possible outcome for your matter. A New York criminal defense lawyer, who is experienced in handling criminal cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you or your loved one has been arrested, contact the Suffolk County criminal defense attorneys at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702.