The First 6 Steps to Take after Being Charged with a Crime

If a crime is reported to the police either by the victim or a suspect, they reserve the right to make an arrest, provided it is done with a valid arrest warrant issued by an unbiased judge.

The case is then referred to the District Attorney’s office where it is thoroughly debated on as to whether it will be charged or declined. If it is eventually charged, a criminal complaint will be issued and the suspect will be charged with a crime.

Here are the first 6 steps to take if you ever find yourself being charged with a crime.

1. Remain silent

You’ve probably heard over a million times on TV shows about cops reading the Miranda Rights, where they say you have the right to remain silent. Well that’s true; it’s in your best interest to exercise that right as anything you say might be used against you.

2. Stay calm

You’ve already been charged with a crime, be it a major or minor one, and pending the time you’ll be prosecuted or discharged and acquitted, you will be treated like every other criminal.

Of course you might be innocent and might want to resist the arrest, but to your advantage, it’s best you take caution and stay calm. Resisting the arrest might make you appear guilty and also lead to extra charges being filed against you.

3. Contact a lawyer

According to Vikas Bajaj, a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, CA, the next most important step to take after being charged with a crime is to contact an experienced attorney. Make sure to get an expert attorney familiar with every aspect of criminal law, so that you can be guided through the information you should and should not divulge.

It’s also the attorney’s duty to enlighten you on some facts about posting bail -- something you don’t want to do on your own, as the attorney might help to get a lowered bail.

4. Give your attorney an honest and detailed account

You have an attorney-client privilege, so be relaxed enough to give your attorney every detail possible right from the incident to that very conversation you’re having. Also accurately answer every question asked so you can increase your chances of being properly defended in court.

5. Avoid speaking about the arrest

Unlike the conversation with your lawyer which has a confidential binding, whatever you say to your friends or family could later be used to testify against you in court.

Although it’s different with your spouse as they are granted the privilege to not testify against you if they are not willing to, but it’s best you do not talk about the case till it’s all over.

6. Make a note of everything

The whole process might inflict a lot of stress on you and could lead to a possible minor breakdown in your brain activities. You could lose some vital information in the process which could be detrimental to your appeal as the attorney would not be able to present the accurate or cogent details needed.

To avoid this, make a note of everything that happened and include the witnesses present at that time.

A criminal charge, be it a misdemeanour or a felony, if not properly handled, could cause you some negative life-changing consequences. So in your best interest, make sure you take these 6 steps, and especially hire the services of an experienced attorney who can thoroughly defend your cause.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at

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