If you are facing criminal charges, large or small, your main goal should be to keep your record clean. The last thing you want hovering around you for the rest of your life is a mark on a record that may prevent you from getting a job in your future. The truth is, if you end up with a criminal record, you may have to do some fancy footwork and explaining before most companies will hire you. This in mind, as your attorney prepares your defense, here are four things you should avoid doing to ensure you are helping — and not hurting — your cause.

No. 1: Do not miss court dates

If you skip a court date, it not only may reflect badly on you, but there may also be a warrant issued for your arrest. This may mean you could end up in jail waiting for your case, rather than out living your life. The important message here is to always show up for court dates on time.

No. 2: Do not vent on social media

If you have gotten into the habit of taking to Facebook to blow off some steam, break that habit during this time in your life. The prosecution can use anything you post online against you in court.

No. 3: Do not maintain the partying level

Going to parties is a normal part of the college lifestyle. However, if you are facing a DUI, you may want to think twice about your behaviors and how continuing to go out and drink could look to the courts.

No. 4: Do not ignore the need for an attorney

With criminal charges, your future is at stake, and you should not take that lightly. While the charge may seem small to you now, a criminal record can have long-lasting effects on your future, especially after college when you are attempting to find a job. This is why, if you are facing a DUI charge, we encourage you to consult with an attorney right away.