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Don't talk about your criminal case with family or friends

After an arrest, your stress, anxiety, and frustration can negatively affect your emotional state. To deal with this situation, many people who are awaiting trial or out on bail find it comforting to unburden themselves in conversations with family members or friends. Some people who are free on bail may use Facebook or other social media connect with family members or friends.

But talking about a criminal case with anyone other than your defense attorney is a mistake. What you say could rebound against you, putting you in severe jeopardy.

A note to family members of those who have been arrested

People who are detained without bail need and crave the emotional support of family members. But whether you are visiting your loved one in jail or speaking with him or her on the phone, keep in mind this important fact: A jail prisoner has no expectation of privacy.

Police officers have the power to listen in on conversations between prisoners and their visitors, whether those conversations happen in person or on the phone. The police are free to pass on any relevant information they overhear to prosecutors. So when family members and friends are talking to people in jail, they should not inquire about the events that led to the arrest or other facts relating to the charge. If your loved one attempts to initiate such a conversation, quickly change the subject to something else. And remind your family member to not talk about the case with any other prisoner, because that newly found jail "friend" may actually be a snitch.

Talk about your case only with your lawyer

Whether you are talking with the police or with family and friends in private conversations, the standard boilerplate language contained in the Miranda warning applies: "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law".

However, there is an important exception to this rule. Any conversations between an accused and his or her lawyer are privileged and will remain confidential. Feel free to tell your lawyer the truth about what happened. Your lawyer has your best interests in mind, and will develop a defense strategy best suited to achieve results for you.

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