Everyone experiences conflict during their lifetime. Arguments can build over time, or they can erupt suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. Unfortunately, there are instances where we may say things we don’t mean or lash out physically at someone else, immediately regretting these actions. In Texas, a person may be charged with assault if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another or threaten another with imminent bodily injury. If you are currently facing an assault charge in the Pearland or Houston area, it’s essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Additionally, avoid making these three common mistakes that can jeopardize your future and your freedom.
1. Don’t Try to Explain Yourself
After an argument turns physical, it’s tempting to try to explain your actions to the responding officers. It’s human nature to want to justify your behavior, and you may want to simply talk about what happened. However, it’s imperative that you invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent. Whether you are at the scene or in an interrogation room at the station, law enforcement officers may try to get you to talk. They often try to “win you over” by claiming that they “just want to listen” or that they “want to hear your side of the story.” Remember that they are not on your side. Any statements you make can—and likely will—be used against you later on. It’s simple for them to take your statement out of context or twist your words to strengthen their case against you. Don’t say anything until you have contacted your attorney.
2. Don’t Contact the Injured Party
Even if you have remorse for what transpired, it’s important that you do not reach out to the injured party without consulting with an attorney. You don’t know how the alleged victim feels about the situation, and the prosecution may be working with them to build a case against you. Any action on your part to contact the victim, even to apologize, may be construed as harassment or intimidation. Perhaps an order of protection has been issued that legally prevents you from contacting the victim. Violating the protective order could result in additional criminal penalties, so it’s safest to sit tight and refrain from contacting them in any way.
3. Don’t Post Anything About the Incident on Social Media
Many people use social media to vent their frustrations or share significant events in their lives. An incident of alleged assault is definitely not a topic that you should post about on social media. In the aftermath of the incident, you may feel compelled to share “your side of the story” with your friends and followers, but any photos, captions, words, or even responses to your post may be used to build a case against you. It’s simple for prosecutors to take your words out of context or to claim that your willingness to share this sensitive information on social media demonstrates a lack of moral character on your part. Don’t give the other side ammunition against you—fight the urge to post.
For effective and reliable criminal defense representation in the Pearland or Houston area, contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC at (832) 230-0075 to arrange a free initial consultation.