When you watch the news, it’s not new to hear about cases in which a wrongfully accused suspect is released. Take Ryan Ferguson’s case as an example. At the age of 17, he was convicted for the murder of Kent Heitholt despite the lack of physical evidence. Another is John Bunn, who was also wrongly convicted of murder when he was a mere adolescent. After 27 years, he was finally free.
The truth sets them free, but at what cost? Being accused of a crime, they did not commit years out of their lives. The accusations placed their life on a halt while they were forced to grow up. They were robbed of their youth— an aspect in their lives which they can never gain back. The psychological trauma will always remain.
When you are charged with a crime, whether it’s traffic offense or theft, it is normal to be fearful of the probability where the law will not side with you. You will go through an emotionally exhausting fight with no definite ending. This is why getting the best criminal defense attorney in Kent will give you the confidence and security you will need as you go through the court proceedings.
If you are about to fight a legal battle, here is a list of reminders to guide you towards justice:
1. Know that you have the right to remain silent.
When you know that you are not guilty, you will feel the need to cooperate with the authorities. However, take into consideration that they are trained to interrogate. Whatever you say will be used against you. Every word- no matter how honest- can unintentionally incriminate you. The Constitution of the United States backs your right to remain silent. Speak only with the advice of your lawyer.
2. Getting a lawyer is not evidence of guilt.
The criminal justice system has its own set of rules and jargon. Navigating through it on your own might cost you your freedom. You will need an experienced lawyer to guide you, especially against the lawyer of your accuser. Do not worry about the public perception of getting a lawyer. Your freedom and truth are more important than what the public would say.
3. Don’t delete posts from your social media accounts.
Social media accounts are now being used by prosecutors to search for incriminating posts and photos. Do not delete any existing material because the act might be used against you. It might be interpreted as an attempt to hide any information from the authorities, making you appear guilty. Furthermore, try not to post about your case unless you get approval from your lawyer.
4. Have a strong support team.
Any form of the legal battle is emotionally and mentally exhausting. Having a small support team composed of close friends and family will make it easier for you to thread into the battle. Do not be surprised if some friends and acquaintances will attempt to gossip about the case or withdraw from your circle. Focus on the important matter- your truth- and appreciate the presence of your most trusted loved ones who will fight the battle with you.
Your freedom is highly dependent on the experience and capability of your lawyer. Do not make the mistake of skimping on your lawyer just because you know you’re not at fault. Be wise.