Common Client Mistakes Detrimental To A Favorable Outcome In A Theft Case

Interviewer: What are some mistakes that would make a person’s case worst in the theft charge?

Court Koehler: As with any criminal charge, if you are accused, whether or not you feel that you are innocent, you should not talk to the police or prosecutor or anybody until you have talked to a lawyer and without your lawyer present because a lot of times you can say things that can be twisted or taken in a wrong way. While you’re trying to explain your side of the story, you may be admitting certain elements of a crime even if you don’t feel you’re guilty or you’re not guilty. You may be saying things that make it look bad or you may be admitting things that you don’t realize. That’s why you never want to talk about anything with police or anybody until you’ve talked to an attorney. That’s the number one advice and that goes for any crime obviously but it’s no different for theft.

It Generally Does Not Help to Try and Explain a Situation to a Police Officer in the Absence of an Attorney

The best example would be if you are at a store and somebody thinks you’re shoplifting and they call the police or they call security over a mistake. Your initial reaction or your initial instinct would be to maybe try and explain what you were doing but that’s really the wrong way to go about it. At that point, the better way to look at it is to assume that you’re probably going to be involved in some sort of criminal charge if there is a police officer involved. You should not talk or say anything because the only thing that you’re going to do is hurt your case. Whatever comes out of your mouth is going to be taken in the absolute worst possible way that it can be taken and it’s going to make you look bad. It’s not going to help you to get out of your situation, so that’s the best and the most important advice.

It is Imperative Not to Delay Contacting An Attorney If Charged with a Crime

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The other thing that you need to do if you are charged is you need to contact a lawyer soon. The reason is that sometimes, I get contacted by people who have already been to court and have already talked to a prosecutor. Maybe they have even set a trial for instance, and then when they come and talk to me, of course I take cases like this and I’m not going to turn somebody away just because they have done some things that make their case harder but it makes it more difficult for me to represent somebody when they have already taken some steps in the case that I wouldn’t have had taken or done things that I wouldn’t have done. They may have waived certain rights, they may have foreclosed their ability to make certain motions and things like that, and it is also important for a lawyer to have as much time as possible to prepare to defend your case if that becomes necessary. The second thing is to contact the lawyer as soon as possible.

The Process of Dealing with a Civil Demand Letter in the State of Utah

Interviewer: When someone has a civil demand letter, what does that refer to? Is it a good idea to fight it and what is the purpose of that?

Court Koehler: A demand letter is when somebody is basically asking you to stop doing something or to make some sort of payment or reparation for something that they think that you’ve done wrong to them. Basically it’s a first step in suing somebody, you send a demand letter first, you ask the person if they will settle your account or come to an agreement on what has happened without going through the process of filing a lawsuit, getting lawyers and that sort of thing. A lot of times, lawyers will write the demand letter to the person that their client is upset with and request payment or request that they stop doing some action.

If an Impending Lawsuit is Suspected then it is Suggested to Contact a Lawyer Immediately

It happens a lot in trademark cases or copyright cases. ”Stop using our name”, something like that. Whether or not you need to contact an attorney when you get one depends on the situation. A demand letter is not a complaint that has been filed with the court that you are required to respond to or you’ll be facing a default judgment. It’s not that serious and it’s probably not absolutely necessary for you to contact a lawyer just because someone has sent you a demand letter. If you’re involved in something that you think is going to go and you’ll end up in the courts, then it may be a good idea for you to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later.

By Court Koehler

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