Some of the top misconceptions is they want to hire cheap attorney, an attorney that’s going to charge them a little or nothing fee to represent them and they think that this person is going to work on their case. That’s a big misconception because when you’re arrested and charged with a crime, it can change your life. It’s a very important decision and you need to hire an attorney that has the experience and who’s going to put in the time and hours in working and defending your case.
What Are the Common Ways People Unintentionally Incriminate Themselves in a Pending Case?
Some of the most significant ways are for example, when someone’s stopped for driving while intoxicated, they will speak to the police officer and tell the police officer that they actually have been drinking and then they will submit to a breath test or submit to a blood test. Also, on a lot of cases, clients think that they can talk their way out of it and they end up incriminating themselves by giving a statement that the police officer uses against them and pursuing and filing charges.
What Would You Advise to Someone Contemplating A Guilty Plea?
You should not throw yourself at the mercy of the court. First of all, if you’re guilty of the crime that you’re being questioned by law enforcement, you should not make a statement incriminating yourself. Law enforcement will often say that they will go light on you and the punishment would be lied if you make a statement. Law enforcement does not have the authority to make that decision; only the prosecutor does. You should not make any statements to incriminate yourself, it can only make the case worse.
It’s a good defense attorney’s job when you hire them to investigate the case and see if there are any possible defenses. You might feel guilty or feel that you’ve done something wrong but maybe law enforcement violated the constitution and your legal rights in arresting or searching your property, arresting you or searching your property and therefore you may have a technicality or a constitutional reason to get the charges dismissed, so you should not plead guilty and fall on the mercy of the court without hiring an attorney to fight for your case and get you the best deal if that’s what’s needed.
Does the Court Show Leniency to a Family Man with No Prior Criminal Offenses?
Yes it does, but you need to have an attorney that has experience to use that mitigating evidence of you never being in trouble, being a good person and having a good family to use that mitigation evidence in your favor.
Often, depending on the charge, but if you don’t have a criminal record, you may be eligible for what we have in Harris County and other counties close by what we call “Pre-trial Intervention,” which is basically a type of probation that can end up in a case being dismissed against you. Once the case is dismissed, then maybe after qualifying period of time, the case can be expunged, which means arrested from your record. Having no criminal history, having a good background, having a job, education and good family can be very favorable circumstances in working out your case.
Am I Legally Obligated to Meet With the Police or Detectives if They Were to Call Me?
No, you’re not required to meet with them or obligated to meet with law enforcement if they contact you. In fact, you should not meet with them. You can only incriminate yourself.
If you’re contacted by law enforcement and they want to meet with you or they want to come over to your residence or your place of employment and interview you, the first thing you should do is be very respectful to them, get the name and telephone number and tell them that you’re going to likely hire an attorney or talk to an attorney and that you will contact them back. Contact an attorney and give them the name and number of the law enforcement agent that contacted you so that your attorney can contact them and make arrangements or decide if a statement will be given.
Are Police Officers Allowed to Lie to You?
Yes, police officers can lie to you, they can just not make false promises or threaten or coerce you into making a statement. For example two people commit a crime and they’re both in different interrogation rooms. The police officer can go into one room and say, “Your buddy over there is spilling the beans and saying you were the lead and the mastermind behind this particular crime,” whereas in fact maybe your buddy has said, “I want a lawyer,” and he’s not making a statement. Often, police officers will lie and give that type of information to try to get a statement.
For more information on Misconceptions About Criminal Arrests, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (713) 228-1400 today.
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