Getting involved with the law in any kind of context is an occasion for considerable concern. Money, our reputations and records and even our freedom can be at risk. That said, there still isn’t a lot of common understanding in how to best avoid serious trouble when you’re in those situations. You can never truly predict what will happen, but here are a few tips you should always keep in mind. We’re going to look at some common legal risks and precautions you should take.
It doesn’t often result in jail time. However, the penalties we can receive for doing our taxes wrong, even accidentally, are considerable. At most risk when it comes to their taxes tend to be those in charge of small businesses. There are many who, for instance, file for the wrong kind of organizational structure. This entity type has an impact of its own on audit risk. Other risks include the amount of gross income and deductions included in a return. You can’t always protect yourself from an audit, so you need to make sure that everything you report is accurate and legal. There are tax lawyers who can help small businesses do just that with an expert opinion to help.
Know your rights
We all have rights that protect us when we come into trouble with the law. This includes the right to legal representation, which you should always exercise if you’re under arrest. However, you also have rights when it comes to your arrest. Those rights include the right to self-defense in cases of false arrest. As resisting arrest can prove a danger to your own health, however, it’s not recommended you take that course of action. Rather, learn what the parameters of a false arrest are. Your best chance to take justice for that false arrest is being able to prove it in a court of law. Otherwise, you are only putting yourself in a position where the police’s advantage over you can have fatal results.
Your right to silence
A notion that has always been in the public consciousness is starting to gain some traction as a way of dealing with police questioning and stops. We’re talking about the right to remain silent. However, a significant misunderstanding of how to apply that right is causing a lot of people more trouble than good. For instance, there are some out there who advise that you simply say nothing to the police. Naturally, this is only likely to arouse suspicion more than anything. The right to silence is to protect people from the danger of incriminating themselves under pressure. This is a right that protects you when in custody, not outside of it. If you are arrested, that’s when you invoke your right and request your attorney.
Dealing with police
Instead of following the misguided advice to physically resist or stay silent, the right way to deal with police is carefully. Remember the advantage that they have over you in most encounters and stay calm. When talking to them, be polite and be respectful. Keep your hands visible and keep eye contact. It can help you to be recording, and make it known that you’re recording, any communication. Ask why you have been stopped and whether anything they ask you to do is a request or an order. Make sure you ask and understand whether you are being detained or are free to go. If you’re not being detained, then ask to leave often.
Having the right advice on your side
If you are under arrest, then you need to start preparing for a legal defense. Any evidence you might have collected from the steps above can help you start to prepare that defense. But the most important aspect of those preparations are going to be who you have representing you. If you are able, it is recommended that you go for a private attorney over a public defender in every case. The best criminal defense lawyers have nowhere near the workload as public defenders. They are also able to give their cases the right attention and time that they demand. Finding the best defense lawyers you can means doing your research and looking at their past records.
Not understanding the game plan
When it comes to the court, your logical following of the events isn’t going to always be the same as how the case is presented. Your lawyer will likely come up with a strategy, so take heed to understand what kind of plans they may come up with. Common legal defense strategies include using the evidence you have collected beforehand. Particularly to prove a wrongful arrest, for example. Other ways they may be able to help is by demonstrating bias on the part of witnesses involved in the case. The truth is a vital component of a legal strategy, but not always the only thing that matters. Following your lawyers lead in using that truth to create the case is your best option.
Giving the wrong image in court
In a truly just system, the image and behavior of the defendant should have no impact on the judge or the jury, whichever is involved in your judgement. However, this is the real world. People will make shallow judgements based on the image that you give off. That’s why you need to put an effort into it. Not just in terms of being well dressed and well groomed. But how you talk, react and even sit. You need to, again, be aware of the authority that you’re under in these situations. You need to be respectful and direct. Don’t be flippant, don’t be rude. With specifics, your lawyer will again give you a lot of advice, so take heed of it.
The balance of power always lies in the hands of the state, but it is entirely possible for you to wrestle it back. Just make sure you keep the above tips in mind but follow the advice of a skilled attorney above all else.