I admit to having a current fascination with the musical Wicked, specifically the song, "Defying Gravity." For those not familiar with the musical, Elphaba (who we later come to know as the Wicked Witch of the West) has been accused of horrible crimes and she is now locked in a room with her good friend Glinda (the Good Witch). As the word goes out that she is an enemy of Oz, Glinda tries to convince her to just apologize. Elphie, believing she has done nothing wrong decides instead to Defy Gravity and fly away singing that they'll never bring her down.
As a criminal defense attorney, I face lots of time with those who have been accused of horrible crimes. In fact, many of those accused are saddened and surprised that they have been charged with a crime. At a time like that, it is so important to stay calm.
First- Do NOT make statements to the police without benefit of counsel. I know that we are told to tell the truth and we think that it will help, but sometimes telling your story can hurt you. For instance, you may have been accused of assaulting someone at a bar, but you left the bar before the fight actually happened. The police may suspect you, but have no evidence that you were there at all. Your statement could be considered confirmation of the police theory.
Second- Hire an attorney right away. I know that lawyers are expensive, but not as costly as bail may be when you show up to court without an attorney. Moreover, the more time a lawyer has to plan, the better prepared she can be for your case.
Finally- Calm down. Facing criminal charges can be scary, but your attorney cannot effectively defend you if you call and stop by the office constantly to ask about your case. Most cases move fairly slowly and there may be weeks where there is just no news on your case. Be patient. Do what you can to provide information to your attorney, but remember that you have to trust his or her training and experience.
Good luck and in the spirit of "Wicked" have a great day trying to Defy Gravity!
By Jacquie L. Jones
Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore issues of custody, criminality, and Probate especially in Delaware County, PA.