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A criminal case may be more complex than you imagine. Some people who have been charged with a crime make the mistake of believing that all they have to do is show up and "tell their side" of the story.
Unfortunately, the criminal justice process is much more complex than that. For instance, in some states certain defenses must be declared in advance, and if the deadline is missed, that evidence cannot be introduced in court.
Witnesses generally have to be revealed in advance, and in a certain form, or they will not be allowed to testify.
In addition to jail time, a criminal conviction may mean a variety of penalties, including possible:
Make sure that you understand exactly what's at stake before you take another step!