After being involved in an accident or pulled over for a traffic stop, it is natural to want to explain yourself or justify your actions. Unfortunately, what you believe is a simple explanation could actually be viewed as a confession. Each day people in stressful situations accidentally incriminate themselves while trying avoid trouble or reduce potential penalties. Knowing these three ways you may accidentally incriminate yourself may help you avoid making a mistake that could cost you dearly.
One of the first things we learn as children is to apologize for mistakes, real or imagined. For that reason, it is normal for a person who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident or stopped by a police officer to apologize. Usually, the apology is meant to acknowledge that they have possibly inconvenienced the other party, or it is simply a knee-jerk reaction. Regardless of the reason, apologizing gives the impression that you are acknowledging fault or responsibility for the situation. Refrain from telling the other party that you are “sorry” or saying anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt.
As shocking as it may seem, it is not unusual for a person to admit guilt to one crime in the hopes of receiving a free pass on another or a reduced sentence. This often happens during routine traffic stops during which a stressed out driver will admit to speeding hoping that nothing else negative happens to them. Not only does admitting guilt just make it easier to prosecute you for one crime, it does not guarantee any future leniency from prosecutors or law enforcement officials. Even if being honest about something you have done that may not be legal or allowed has worked for you in the past do not make a habit of expressing guilt in the hopes of avoiding serious consequences.
Posting Evidence Online
In a rapidly growing trend, people guilty of committing seemingly minor offenses are causing trouble for themselves by posting evidence of their crimes online. Teenagers posting pictures of themselves drinking while underage, adults sharing videos of themselves using illegal drugs, and more have started appearing on social media. In addition to receiving a lot of negative feedback from other social media users, these individuals have also started drawing the attention of local police departments. Now police are spending time checking social media for evidence of crimes so that they can charge more people for crimes using readily available evidence to secure convictions.
Not Talking to a Lawyer First
Prior to speaking with anyone regarding a traffic stop, criminal arrest, or even a two-car collision, always speak with a qualified attorney. An attorney can give you legal advice based on your unique situation and speak to law enforcement, claims adjusters, and others on your behalf. The attorneys at Brassel Alexander, LLC understand how difficult it can be to know what information to disclose and what information should be held in reserve. We work on your behalf to protect your rights and help you avoid self incrimination. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today so that we can begin providing you with the help that you deserve.