Getting charged with any criminal offense can be a scary experience. Even a split-second mistake can change everything, so if you’ve been charged with assault, then your mind is probably swimming with questions, concerns, and fears. Don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, take a deep breath, assess your situation, and identify your best course of action. Your case isn’t hopeless. There are ways you can ensure a positive result for yourself and your loved ones. With this in mind, here are five things you need to do now if you’re facing an assault charge.
1. Gather Evidence
If your assault charge arose out of a traumatic event, it’s understandable if you’re not eager to think back to it. However, you can’t block it out of your mind just yet. Instead, you must try to remember every single detail of what happened leading up to your incident and document it in writing. If you can, gather evidence regarding the incident and any mitigating factors that can be used to build a case for yourself. Making your story crystal-clear and convincing is an essential step in developing your case.
2. Lawyer Up – and Fast
Facing any criminal charge can feel like an insurmountable challenge, so don’t go it alone. Instead, get help from a criminal defence lawyer immediately. A good lawyer will not only be able to offer you consolation in this stressful situation, but they’ll also walk you through the criminal justice system so you’ll know how to come out of your situation with the best possible outcome. The right legal counsel can mean the difference between facing jail time or walking away with no penalties.
3. Know Your Rights and Remain Silent
Though it does depend on the country in which you’ve been charged, you generally are afforded the right to remain silent when questioned by police. It’s in your best interest to exercise this right when you’re facing criminal charges. One wrong word can have serious consequences for your case, so make sure you know your rights and don’t offer any incriminating information that could be interpreted in a negative light. Instead, keep quiet and only speak about your case with trusted legal counsel present.
4. Stay Off Social Media
Your situation is sure to be physically and emotionally exhausting, so it would be understandable if you feel the need to vent about it online. However, you must resist this urge. Investigators closely follow social media in criminal justice cases. Just as the words you utter when questioned by police can be used against you, so too can your comments on social media. With this in mind, it’s in your best interest to avoid social media whenever possible, and if you have to hop on Twitter or Facebook, keep a low profile.
5. Stay Out Of Trouble
Once you’ve been charged with a criminal act, don’t make the situation harder on yourself with further offenses. Keep a low profile and avoid getting on the wrong side of the law. Even something as simple as a traffic offense while you’re awaiting your assault trial could spell bad news for your case. Try to live as quietly and safely as you can while you’re going through the criminal justice system.
Entering the criminal justice system might feel like a hopeless situation, but by following these tips, you’ll give yourself a good choice at successfully navigating it. Stay calm and get expert help to guide you through the process, and you’ll soon find yourself on the other side of this difficult situation.