It always amazes me when I am in court the ways that people charged with crimes make a bad situation worse!

As a former prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney, I have learned a lot about what makes a good Defendant and a bad Defendant. Here are some suggestions how you can become a better defendant:

1. SHUT UP! You have heard of Miranda rights, right?!?...that is, "You have the right to remain silent....". Rarely, does a big mouth help a defendant when dealing with the Police or the Court. Keep your mouth shut and let your attorney do the talking!

2. DRESS WELL FOR COURT! I just can not understand why someone would come to Court looking like they just rolled out of bed or looking like a thug. What would you think, if the lawyers and the judges walked in wearing old jeans and T shirts?!?

3. TREAT EVERYONE WITH RESPECT! If you are arrested for something, even if it is a bad arrest, do not make it worse by acting like an fool. Swearing and fighting with the police, resisting arrest and threatening people. Let your lawyer try to legally beat a bad arrest. I cannot even count the amount of times I have been in court where the original reason a person was arrested has gotten tossed out, but they still face resisting charges or criminal damage charges, for what they did after they got stopped.

4. STOP DOING DRUGS AND DRINKING BOOZE! Doing illegal drugs and/or drinking alcohol, after you have been charged with a case is an absolute recipe for disaster. First of all, it may be in direct violation of your bond. The pre-trial folks or your judge may have you "drop" at any time. If you come back dirty and you violate bond, you could be looking at sitting in jail until your case is over. Also, as you well know, when you indulge in illegal drugs and alcohol you make bad decisions. What do you think the judge is going to do with you, even if you are innocent of your original crime, if you pick up a new DUI, a Domestic Battery or frankly, just about any new case, while you are on bond? Well, I can tell you this: it will not be pleasant for you, that is for sure!

5. DO NOT TALK TO AND DO NOT THREATEN THE VICTIM OR WITNESSES! You might think, you will help your case by seeing who is in your corner and making "sure" bad witnesses or the victim do not show; but I can just about guarantee that if the Prosecutors or the Court finds out- you are going to be in a lot more trouble than you can even imagine. Don't do it. It will tank your case!

6. DO NOT LIE TO YOUR ATTORNEY! The only other person that is there to really try to help you is your lawyer. If you give him a load of crap and he relies on that information and then your bogus story falls apart, there will be very little that he or anyone can do for you. You will have made your bed and you will sleep in it.

7. STAY ACTIVE IN YOUR DEFENSE! Sometimes, defendants think that once they hire an attorney, the attorney will wave his magic wand and get the defendant off with no help from the defendant. Well, let me tell you from experience, the best clients are those that continue to try to help from the beginning of their case through the end. By answering the phone when the lawyer calls, by providing the documents his lawyer asks for, by suggesting witnesses to talk to and by never giving up. You must take a stake in your own defense.

8. DON'T DO ANYTHING TO GET ON THE RADAR! I have seen prosecutors take little cases and make them into big cases, just because they are pissed at the Defendant. If you get on the Radar through your bad acts, bad behavior in the courtroom or buffoonery you will make it that much harder to defend you. You DO NOT want the prosecutors to LOOK FORWARD to crushing you, if they get a chance. Do not think for a minute that it does not happen, because it does...all the time.

9. SHOW UP ON TIME! If you get to Court late, you may end up leaving court in handcuffs! I always tell my clients to get to court AT LEAST a half hour early. Not only do you have to get through security, but it never fails that there is some tie up. The clerk does not have your file or some other thing goes wrong. Be early always!

10. HIRE A QUALIFIED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER! The best defendant's are OFTEN that way because they listen to their lawyers about the things I have previously discussed. And they take actions based on the advice they are given by their experienced attorney.

Attorney Kenneth M. Alpert is an extremely qualified criminal defense attorney and can help you become the best Defendant you can be! Call him today at 847-421-6464, if you want to learn more ways to help yourself during this trying time!