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Chicago IL federal criminal defense attorneyIt is normal to feel nervous before your appearance in court when you are facing criminal charges, especially if the case is being handled in federal court. It is important to prepare yourself for trial because judges will not take kindly to a defendant who is not acting in accordance with expected decorum or who comes unprepared. Preparing for a federal criminal trial requires prior planning, and working with an experienced attorney offers significant benefits. Here are a few ways you can get ready for your criminal trial:

#1. Prepare Your Evidence

One of the most crucial elements of your defense is evidence that you bring to the trial that supports your claim of innocence. Evidence can be in two forms: witness testimony and exhibits. Witnesses can be people who keep records relevant to the case, experts who are qualified to give an opinion about a certain part of the case, or any other people who have relevant information about the case. Exhibits are items that support your side of the case. These things can include documents or other items used to prove your point or disprove the prosecution’s point, records, or photographs. Your attorney will be able to help you prepare the evidence.

#2. Prepare Your Testimony

You should also practice what you will say when you are given the chance to present your side of the case. Your attorney will help you with preparing what you should and should not say during your time on the stand, or advise you as to whether taking the stand is even in your best interests. Your lawyer may advise you to refrain from certain things or to speak up about certain points. Remember that whatever you say can always be used against you.

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Chicago IL federal criminal defense lawyerWhen you are charged with a federal criminal offense, you are likely to be very upset and confused. You might not know how you ended up being charged, and you probably have serious concerns about how the case will play out. These are all understandable feelings, but if left unchecked, they can lead to you taking the wrong type of action. You could find yourself doing things that might actually harm your case and make things worse for yourself. If you are facing federal charges, be aware of these common mistakes so that you can avoid them.

1. Careless Posting on Social Media

When a person is arrested on any criminal charges, he or she is given the Miranda warnings. These warnings remind a person of his or her right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. They also remind the suspect that anything he or she says can be used against him or her. It is critical to remember that this does not just apply to conversations or interrogations with the police. Anything you say at any time, including what you post on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform, could be used by prosecutors against you. The best advice is to stay away from social media entirely while your case is ongoing, but you should absolutely avoid posting anything related to the case or the alleged crime.

2. Giving Information to the Police

Many people are not aware that they are not required to talk with the police, especially before they are reminded of their rights. If you are detained or arrested by the police, you do not have to answer any questions about the case, and you certainly should not say anything that might cause you to appear guilty. Invoking your Fifth Amendment right does not make you look guilty. It simply demonstrates that you understand your rights and how they apply.

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