What Are Some Of The Biggest Misconceptions People Have When They Have Been Arrested For A Crime?
There are several common misconceptions people have about when someone is charged in a criminal case. We often meet with people who note that the officer who arrested them screwed something up, so they assume their case will get thrown out automatically. That is a misconception because even if the officer did screw something up, it is not very easy to get a case dismissed or thrown out. It almost always takes a pretty significant battle. Sometimes an officer’s mistake means very little to the outcome of a case, and sometimes it means quite a bit. The only way to determine the impact of an officer’s error on any particular case is to have the type of knowledge and experience that one has as a trained attorney. Officer errors DO result in cases getting dismissed, but only if the arguments are used effectively by someone who knows how to make and assert them. When an officer’s mistake is not significant enough to justify an outright dismissal, a skilled attorney can still use relatively minor mistakes in a way that produce the best outcome for a client.
Another common misconception is someone will say, “Well, I am innocent and so it should be easy to get this case dismissed.” That is not really true either. The office of Tait & Hall has represented quite a few clients who have maintained their innocence. There have been occasions where the defense investigation was relatively quick and the charges were dismissed after a relatively short period of time. That is certainly the exception, rather than the norm, however. Some cases have lasted as long as two years while the defense waits for the state to respond to materials they have provided through their investigation, either tracking down witnesses or tracking down records that are essential in proving that somebody is actually innocent. Just because someone is innocent does not mean the case is going to be dismissed without a fight. Oftentimes an innocent person will have no choice but to take the case all the way to trial, in which case it is incredibly important to have someone who really knows how to win over a judge and/or a jury.
Another common misconception is, “I’m guilty. I did it and so I might as well give up.” Even if you are guilty and even if you do want to accept responsibility for committing a crime, it is never a good idea to just walk in the court and take the first offer that gets thrown at you. You really need to evaluate whether it is a fair offer, and if the consequences that the state is trying to impose are just consequences and fair consequences. You should really understand and know what defenses you have available and what options you have before you decide whether to accept responsibility in a case. It is very easy for people charged with a crime to lose hope and to feel that their life, as they know it, is over. The reality is that there is always hope. Even though it can be very frightening being charged with a criminal offense, there is always hope and there is always life after being charged with a criminal offense.
One other misconception is that some people come in and say, “Well, my friend got charged with this crime and got these consequences, so that means I am going to get the same consequences.” The truth is that every case is different and unique. There are a many of variables that affect the outcome of any particular case, not the least of which is the skill and work ethic or your attorney. Having the same charges does not mean you will get the same consequence. There are a lot of factors that can affect any given case: the personal preferences of the prosecutor, the preferences of the judge, the strength of the evidence, and the unique life-circumstances of the accused, just to name a few. Unfortunately, our justice system is imperfect. Two people may deserve the same outcome, but rarely get the same outcome. All of the factors that influence how any particular case turns out can be heavily influenced by the skill, experience, and attitude of the attorney representing the accused.
Read about some of the Common Misconceptions People Have When Arrested for a Crime or call the office of Tait & Hall for a FREE Initial Consultation at (480) 405-6767 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.