A guide to understanding some do's and don'ts in the criminal courts.
Do's and Don'ts
CRIMINAL DO'S AND DON'TS
Retain an attorney who specializes in criminal defense as soon as possible, preferably before you have talked to or answered the questions of a police detective.
No matter how charming or terrifying the detective is, do not share any information other than your name, address and vital statistics (i.e., date of birth, etc.).
Refuse to talk to anyone about your case except for your attorney and his or her staff.
Refuse to answer any questions asked by the police or anyone else about the present charges or any other charges or alleged crimes without the advice of an attorney.
Refuse to give any consent or waivers to the police.
Refuse to submit to any line-ups, identifications, examinations or tests without prior consultation with your attorney.
It is better to not say anything than to lie. Lying to a police officer can be an additional charge of obstructing which, in Wisconsin, is a misdemeanor with a maximum of a $10,000 fine and/or 9 months in jail.
Police officers cannot make legally binding promises to you regarding your prosecution. Only a District Attorney or a U.S. Attorney has the power to make any deal.
Be polite to everyone concerning this matter, but do not discuss the case.
Be aware that if you are out on bond, you must not violate that bond or have any additional violations of the law.
If you violate any condition of the bond or are arrested, the District Attorney could add a charge of bail jumping, which could be a felony with an additional 6-year penalty.
You must notify your attorney and the Clerk of Courts within 48 hours of any change of address.
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