Many offenders in criminal cases have been in the dark concerning court proceedings and the charges they are facing. It gets more complicated if the defendants are interacting with the legal system for the first time. If you have only seen a court session on a television show, the reality is likely to feature significant differences. Endless misconceptions have engulfed the public for many years when it comes to the criminal justice system.
The following is an overview of the myths of criminal defense that have perpetuated throughout society. The process through which the police arrest you, interrogate you, and present you to the legal system features numerous legal aspects to which you need to be knowledgeable. Failure to understand these elements might lead to further confusion.
When Should the Police Read Your Rights?
Many have misconceptions concerning the police reading Miranda rights upon an arrest. Many believe that their statements are invalid as long as the police did not read them their rights. On the other hand, the truth is that the officers will only take you through your rights if you are under interrogation or when in custody.
It is then advisable to note that your statements can bind you if the police interrogate you before arresting you. Similarly, any utterances you make after getting arrested can land you in more trouble. Seeking the services of a criminal defense lawyer is a brilliant idea. Recent policies allow prosecutors to question suspects before arraignment in court. In such a situation, the system assigns a public defender if the suspect does not have private representation. However, an attorney has the power to stop any interrogation before a court hearing.
The Myth About Search Warrants
Many individuals get it wrong when it comes to search warrants. Countless people believe that whatever evidence the police may find during a search should not count in the court hearing. As opposed to this misconception, the lack of a search warrant can never save you in court, so long as the case is straightforward and the evidence points toward you.
Misconceptions on Evidence
Thinking that a case will favor you because officers or judges have no tangible evidence about your crime is a misconception. It is not always mandatory for the court to present facts to build a case against you. The prosecution could have a witness or evidence that you are unaware of. Even without direct proof like DNA or fingerprints, the prosecutor has what it takes to show that you are guilty.
Unfortunately, the jury decides your fate, whether you are in fact innocent or guilty. The most unfortunate thing is that the court will make minimal effort to overturn a verdict by the jury if it is not an extraordinary case. With such facts, countless individuals have wrongly faced incredibly unjust judgments over the years.
Evidence from Eyewitnesses Is Crucial
Going by recent research, human memory is not something you can entirely trust. It gets worse when a stressful situation is involved. Witnesses in accidents, attacks, and break-in situations are less dependable. It is difficult to prove the evidence from eyewitnesses because many will give different versions of the same crime. Therefore, it is inaccurate to believe that an eyewitness is a strong basis for acquittal in every circumstance.
Pleading Guilty Is Equivalent to Being Guilty
Because of the high number of criminal cases in courts, a criminal defense lawyer can employ the rule of plea negotiation. In that case, the defendant pleads guilty to charges with promises of lenient punishment. However, that is not similar to confession, as many have that misconception. As the defendant, you sacrifice your legal right of proceeding to trial for a fair sentence.
In conclusion, your criminal defense lawyer can be of great help in your case, but that does not mean you win the case. Many believe the myth that the lawyer will remain in constant communication with the judge on your behalf. The truth is that your attorney’s primary duty is to put things in order, awaiting the next hearing. With those insights, you can now go through a court case without confusing facts and myths.