Criminal defense attorney discusses common mistakes
Criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson is known throughout the Pittsburgh region for helping people charged with crimes and giving them a second chance. In his more than twenty-five years of experience, Mr. Gerson has helped hundreds of people in the unforgiving face of the criminal justice system. In his wisdom, Attorney Gerson has decided to put together a criminal defense post for you about what not to do if and when you’re arrested. Some of these may seem like common sense, but many are surprised at how often these unwritten rules are broken. First, never skip a court date. There is perhaps nothing worse than not showing up to a scheduled court appearance. Skipping court can kill your chances of possibly getting probation instead of jail time and it also gives the judge the authority to issue a warrant for your arrest. Too often, I’ve had clients who missed a court date for whatever reason–either they forgot or were afraid to go–then they were taken to jail after a traffic stop or when trying to leave the country for vacation. Second, don’t move and not tell the court or your probation officer. If you move and are delayed in receiving your mail, or if you have not had your mail forwarded to your new address, then you will likely violate our first rule, which is don’t skip court dates. It is never the job of your attorney or the criminal justice system to have to find you; instead, it is your job to always keep them abreast of your life changes. Third, if you’re going to change your mobile and/or house telephone numbers, it is imperative that you let your lawyer know. Changing your number without telling your attorney breaks down communication and you can be left out of the loop when it comes to important, time-sensitive information. Fourth, please, whatever you do, don’t talk about your case on Facebook, Twitter, or any other form of social media. Remember, Facebook is not private and police officers and prosecutors love to search Facebook for incriminating comments you may have made in an effort to bolster their case against you. It may seem silly, but many would be surprised at how often clients openly admit to apologize for crimes they committed before they are even convicted. In addition, don’t post anything derogatory about the arresting officer, your judge, the prosecuting attorney, your lawyer, or a jury member. Finally, don’t talk about your case during your phone calls from jail. They are all recorded and anything you say on a payphone in jail to anyone but your lawyer can be used against you in court. If you are talking to your lawyer, the call should technically not be recorded, but it is highly advisable to refrain from saying anything that might incriminate you anyway. If you have questions about your arrest, call the Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson at (412) 281-3380 today.