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In New Jersey.

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Be cautious when representing yourself after an arrest

Television programs, as you know, do not always accurately portray real-life situations. This is nowhere truer than in all the dramas based on the court system.

Despite all the doctor programs on TV, few people believe they can diagnose or treat their own maladies. Some Eastern New Jersey residents, however, have watched enough TV to believe they can represent themselves after an arrest. That being the case, it is prudent to share a few mistakes that can result from self-representation.

Mistakes can often make your criminal situation worse

Here are some of the most common errors self-representatives commit:

  • Failing to be fully aware of the laws dealing with their charges. Too often citizens rely on their assumptions about the specifics of laws they allegedly violated.
  • Speaking too freely about their case and sharing their intentions. Once arrested, anything you say may be useful to the prosecution. Also, you do not want to share your potential defense openly.
  • Accepting a deal too quickly. There may be compelling reasons you are being asked to accept a guilty plea and a relatively lenient sentence.
  • Failing to understand all your possible defense options.
  • Finishing the paperwork. The criminal justice system requires a diligent trail of specific documents filed and proper fees paid. Failure to do so has repercussions.

The criminal justice system allows ample time and opportunity

One aspect of American jurisprudence that is almost universal is allowing criminally charged individuals sufficient time to prepare before the state proceeds with its prosecution. This is part of the constitutional declaration entitling you to your best defense.