Being charged with a criminal offence can be a traumatizing experience – a criminal record can make it more difficult for you to find housing and employment, and employers generally avoid hiring employees with criminal records, to name just a few challenges. That’s why it’s essential that you seek out an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer as soon as you become aware that you might be convicted of a crime.
When it comes to criminal convictions, there are a number of things you should refrain from engaging in in order to protect your case.
Breaching Your Conditions
If you violate the conditions of your release, you may find yourself facing additional criminal charges, or even a long period of incarceration as your criminal case progresses.
One of the most common forms of breaching the conditions of your bond is to flee the jurisdiction in which you are located. Typically, the Crown will dictate that you are to remain in a specific geographic area until your criminal case is resolved. A criminal defence lawyer can then speak to the Crown regarding the requirements for securing your release by presenting a bail plan.
Neglecting to Follow Up with Your Lawyer About Bail Variations
Various conditions may be imposed on you due to the specific circumstances of your criminal case, and a bail variation refers to the action of submitting a formal request to the court to alter the conditions of your bail. Crown lawyers must approve of this bail variation, after which you must still adhere to the bail conditions during the entire period of your release.
Missing Your Fingerprinting Date
When you’re arrested, you will need to visit a police station and submit your fingerprints, and you must appear on the specific date and time listed on the document provided to you by the court. If you don’t attend your fingerprinting date, you may be charged with “failing to appear” and suffer further legal consequences. It’s important to read your release documents carefully so that you know which police station to visit for your fingerprinting.
Failing to Document Your Case
When you’re charged with a criminal offence, make sure you provide all the necessary documents associated with your defence, and take the time to make note of every progression in your case.
Delaying Hiring a Lawyer
You have the right to remain silent when you are arrested or charged with a criminal offence, and it is also your right to speak to a lawyer before you provide a statement, admit to anything, or speak to Crown counsel. A lawyer can inform you of your legal rights and explain to you which defences may be applicable to your case.
Crown counsel may inform your lawyer that the Crown is asking for reduced charges, which is why negotiations with Crown counsel are essential, and your lawyer has experience negotiating with Crown counsel. A criminal defence lawyer can also help you alter the conditions of your bail.
Withholding Information from Your Lawyer
If you’ve retained a criminal defence lawyer, be forthright and transparent about the facts and circumstances of your arrest, and make sure to inform your criminal defence lawyer of any relevant evidence that could be related to your criminal case. If you do not provide relevant evidence to your criminal defence lawyer, then you and your criminal defence lawyer could face serious consequences that could harm your criminal case.
Choosing a Lawyer without Researching Your Choice
Try not to choose your criminal defence lawyer without first investigating if they are qualified to serve you and help you enforce your legal rights. If you retain the first criminal defence lawyer you contact, you may not be working with the best professional to help you with your case.
Missing Important Deadlines
Every criminal case features deadlines that can affect your liberty and your legal rights. Don’t ignore any important deadlines that you learn about at the beginning of your case, since missing deadlines may cause you to suffer consequences that can have an enormous impact on the outcome of your case. If you have questions about a specific deadline related to your case, make sure to consult your criminal defence lawyer.
Forgetting Your Release Terms After Your First Court Appearance
After you make your first court appearance during your criminal case, you don’t want to ignore all the specific requirements noted on your release terms. You may need to adhere to a curfew and refrain from drinking alcohol, or you may be confined to a specific geographic area in order to ensure that you will continue to appear in court in the future. If you violate any of the release terms, it’s possible that you can lose your privileges and be jailed until the resolution of your criminal case.
At the end of the day, being charged with a criminal offence is a traumatic and stressful experience, and it’s important for you to consult an experienced criminal defence lawyer to help you understand how to protect your legal rights.
A skilled criminal defence lawyer can help you understand how to make your way through the criminal justice system and make sure that the Crown satisfies its obligations under the law. At Vilkhov Law, our team of professionals is here for you. Contact us today to speak to our team regarding your criminal case.