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The second rule of being charged with a crime

The second rule of being charged with a crime is to not talk about being charged with a crime. Do not talk about being charged with a crime with anyone who is not your lawyer.

Your communications with your lawyer are protected. Unless you’re hatching a crime or scheming up a lie with your lawyer, the government cannot find out what you talk about with your lawyer.

Conversations with other people are not protected. The government can learn what you told your mom. It can subpoena your dad. A prosecutor can make your sister talk. Your boyfriend can be brought before a grand jury.

Jurors will find your words through the voice of your family and friends to be very persuasive and credible evidence against you. Do not create such powerful evidence.

You may think your family will lie for you. Your friends may be willing to protect you. But that’s a horrible position to put people in and it may not work. The only thing worse than going over a cliff is taking your loved ones with you.

If you have questions about how federal criminal charges are different than state criminal charges, please visit this page on Maryland federal criminal charges.

Do not assume that the government will think it unseemly to ask your family to help send you to prison. It is unseemly. It is offensive to use the love that people have for one another against them. But the prosecutor may think that it is necessary to do their job, and there is almost no meaningful check on that decision.

If you’re charged with a crime, you should hire a lawyer. You should talk to that lawyer. And no one else.

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