The idea that you might end up being convicted of a crime while otherwise successfully defending yourself against allegations of wrongdoing can feel a bit twisted. How is that even possible, you may wonder?
At the core of this problem is what is known as a process crime. Such offenses are committed against the administration of justice itself, such as providing false statements to the police, failing to appear for hearings, or fleeing the police. In fact, these sorts of concerns are one of the main reasons it's wise to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney even if you're convinced you have an easy case.
How to Avoid Committing a Process Crime
One of the biggest things you can do is to avoid picking a fight with the police or the court. For example, it's common for individuals accused of domestic violence to contact the complaining party, such as a former spouse, and ask them to drop the charges or inquire about what's going on. Every attorney in America would tell you to not do this because it opens you up to accusations of trying to dissuade a witness, especially if there is a restraining order in place.
Retaining counsel provides a conduit for necessary communications in such situations. If you need to discuss something relevant to your case, your attorney can run down those questions and prevent you from having additional criminal exposure in the matter.
Take the Judge's Direction Seriously
Complying with orders from the court is essential. If you've been told to appear on a certain date for a hearing, make sure you do so. If you're not going to be able to appear at that time, request that your lawyer stand in your stead.
The same goes for other forms of direction from the court. For example, individuals accused of street crimes, such as drug dealing, are often ordered to stay away from specific locations. Similar orders are often issues in computer crime cases where accused parties are ordered to not use specific types of electronics while a criminal complaint is pending.
Prosecutors can and do abuse process crime charges for a variety of reasons. They may want to flip someone by charging them with obstruction of justice and offering to drop the charges in exchange for testimony. Regardless of why the prosecutor chooses to pursue process-related charges, you need an attorney to advise you.
A law office, like GLEN ALBRIGHT LAW, has a variety of attorneys available to help you.