The cases that we handle in this office are very serious. Most people don’t understand that there is a lot you can do to help your case even before coming in
to get the advice of an attorney. Now, there is no 1, 2, 3, step process to avoid getting arrested. However, there is some information you can have that will make it easier for a criminal defense attorney to defend you and ensure a better outcome for your case.
Things to know to help you avoid being arrested?
1) The police are not on your side.
The first thing that our clients must understand is that police are not here to make sure your rights aren’t violated. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Most of the time the police are trying to make their jobs easier on them, on the district attorney, and the judge. This seems counter-intuitive, I know. You would think that all of these people would be fighting for justice and not trying to trample on your rights. However, that is not the system we live in and that is the harsh truth that people need to understand BEFORE they get in trouble. The district attorney’s office, the judges, and the police departments all get their paychecks from the same place. You and your private defense attorney do not. We are not on their team and we will be treated accordingly. We are here to help you, not the government. This can be one of the more comforting aspects of hiring a private attorney, you know they are working for your best interest and not just to push paper across a desk to meet a quota at the end of the month. So if you think the system is trying to fight for justice, just remember that justice is bad for their business.
2) “If I don’t talk to law enforcement, I will look guilty”
Too often do our clients go in and make a statement to law enforcement because they are afraid of looking guilty. However, this is the BIGGEST mistake our clients can make. It is the number one thing that we can’t control once it’s done. If you go in and speak to law enforcement about a crime you are accused of, you are locking in your statement for future dates. Whatever you say in that statement is your story. It is in your best interest to not commit to a statement until you have to get up on the stand and talk to the jury. That is the one and only time you should ever give a statement. Let’s face it, if police ask you to come make a statement they have evidence aginst you. They just need more evidence to really hammer the nail in your coffin. All you are doing is helping them gain more evidence against you and that is not something you should be assisting them with. Let’s not help law enforcement do their job, especially if their job is getting you convicted of a crime.
3) If I can’t talk to law enforcement what should I do if they want to speak with me?
The best advice that our office can give you is to exercise your 5th, 6th, and 4th amendment rights in that order.
6th Amendment: the right to have an attorney present during all questioning and all lineups.
5th Amendment: the right against self-incrimination, the right to due process.
4th Amendment: the right against unlawful search and seizures.
The reason you want to exercise them in this specific order is in the event that you do go to trial, the district attorney can not even bring up the fact that you exercised your 6th and 4th amendments because once you exercise your right to remain silent and against self-incrimination, it’s all over they can’t bring up the fact that you plead the 5th because that could be construed as self-incrimination. Even if you really did nothing wrong, you want to preserve your rights in the event that you are wrongfully accused. This is all much more important than “looking innocent”. After you exercise those rights, then you must contact and attorney right away! and let the attorney handle it from there.
These are three very simple steps that can drastically impact your case. When you say too much it is hard to get around that fact. It is always good to say less and let your attorney take it from there. Too often do people try to do the right thing and they end up sealing their fate thinking “if only I had known.”
M. Colin Bresee is especially savvy to the tricks and techniques of law enforcement and the district attorney, especially in sex cases. Mr. Bresee used to travel from county to county teaching law enforcement and the District Attorney’s how to prosecute these cases, so he knows what to expect and how to fight it. Contact our office for a free consultation to get an assessment of your unique case. M. Colin Bresee is ready to help.
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By Shannon Lynch