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Locked up? Avoid these mistakes that could undermine your defense.

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2023 | Criminal Law

Some people get arrested and may find themselves in custody for hours before a judge arraigns them. The type of charge and timing of one’s arrest will affect the length pf time they are in custody.

While in custody, a person will understandably focus on getting out of custody as quickly as possible. They should also focus on spending their time wisely while in custody to avoid negatively affecting their options when it comes time for their criminal trial.

These common mistakes should be avoided.

Do not overshare on the phone.

Being able to talk to friends or loved ones can help someone feel calm and can also help them arrange for their release and future defense. However, anyone being held in custody needs to be aware that communications from any facility are typically subject to recording. There have even been major criminal appeals related to this practice, and courts have repeatedly affirmed that the state of Pennsylvania can use whatever someone says while on the phone in a correctional facility as part of the prosecution in almost all cases. Although conversations with lawyers are typically not admissible, those in jail should still understand that anything said on a jail or prison phone is subject both to monitoring and possibly recording.

Do not confide in another inmate.

People in detention can also implicate themselves and hurt their case by talking to other people in detention. Arguably, everyone in detention would rather not be there. So, there are plenty of individuals who would happily turn jailhouse informant, given the opportunity. Informants may not only repeat what someone says, but they may also exaggerate it, making minor statements seem like criminal confessions. Those in detention should know that whatever they say to others in detention could be repeated to the police or presented as evidence against them in a criminal trial.

If you ever find yourself in custody pending a trial, you should avoid making any decisions or mistakes that could lead to a wrongful conviction or other negative outcomes related to your case.



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