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5 Common Mistakes People Make After an Arrest

5 Common Mistakes People Make After an Arrest

Getting arrested for the first time in your life can be a terrifying, frustrating, and emotionally overwhelming experience. Since you have never dealt with the criminal justice system before, you may be vulnerable to several legal pitfalls and ultimately make matters worse. 

The following are the five most common mistakes people make after an arrest: 

  1. Resist arrest or run away – In South Carolina, resisting arrest is a separate misdemeanor offense, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if an officer was harmed during the arrest, it becomes a felony offense that is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. 

  1. Not take your charges seriously – Although you may believe you are innocent and have complete faith that the criminal justice system will rule in your favor, simply ignoring your charges may only harm your case. If you do not appear for your scheduled court hearings, you may end up in even bigger trouble than before. 

  1. Attempt to tell your side of the story – If you try to explain yourself and convince the police of your innocence, you must understand that whatever you say during your arrest can and will be used against you later in court. The officers are there to gather evidence to ensure you are convicted, rather than help you in any way. 

  1. Admit guilt – While you have been lawfully arrested, that does not mean you are guilty of the alleged charges against you. If you plead guilty during your arraignment (first court hearing), you will lose your opportunity to challenge your arrest and defend yourself with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, who can investigate your case, gather evidence, and develop an effective defense strategy to help you avoid conviction or harsh penalties like jail time. Instead, your case will proceed directly to sentencing and you may be subject to the maximum penalties. 

  1. Not hiring an attorney – As soon as you are arrested, you have the right to have a lawyer present prior to being questioned by the police. Your attorney can help you avoid making all the mistakes above and find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. 

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested in Lexington, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 for a free case evaluation. Ready to protect your rights and freedom immediately! 


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