You are under arrest and facing criminal charges. The criminal activity is in the past, so you only need to worry about your defense, right?
The answer depends on your behavior after your arrest, you can always face additional charges by breaking more laws. Prevent your situation from becoming worse by avoiding these crimes.
Immediately after arrest
During an arrest, you may feel stress, fear and other emotions that can turn on your fight-or-flight response and impair judgment. Therefore, it is imperative to remain calm and not attempt the following:
- Assault: Always cooperate with police upon arrest. You can maintain your rights without resorting to physical violence. Whereas simple assault is a misdemeanor in Virginia, assaulting a police officer is a felony.
- Bribery: You may see no way out of this mess but to bribe officials. Trying to engage these people in criminal activity will only backfire.
- Repeat offense: If the police release you shortly after an arrest, do not repeat the same offense, such as driving drunk, or a related offense, such as driving with a suspended license.
In addition, it is best not to answer any questions until you have spoken to a criminal defense lawyer.
During the administration of justice
Once court proceedings begin, other opportunities to make unwise choices may present themselves, such as these three crimes:
- Criminal contempt of court: You can act in contempt either in the presence of the court or outside of court. Respective examples include yelling at the judge or violating a court order.
- Obstruction of justice: The basic definition is to interfere with the activities of the legal system. Common actions are tampering with evidence or witnesses, influencing a juror or retaliating against anyone involved in the case.
- Perjury: Fair administration of the law relies on the implication that all parties are honest. You may be tempted to lie under oath to protect yourself, especially if your case is not going well. However, perjury carries the penalties of paying $2,500 and/or spending up to 10 years in prison.
As bad as your circumstances may be, remember that further illegal behavior will only make things worse.