What Specific Crimes Do You Generally Represent People For?
We are best known for DWI defense; I’m a member of the National College of DUI Defense, which is an accrediting body that recognizes people who excel at the ethical aspects of DUI defense. We’re also known for domestic violence defense and, fortunately, we know a great deal about defense in domestic violence cases. We also handle general criminal defense; everything from shoplifting to robbery, assault; anything that puts someone’s freedom is at stake.
What Are The Most Common Ways That People Unintentionally Incriminate Themselves?
It’s very rare that I meet a client who has not given a statement to the police, and simply invoked their right to remain silent, and that’s probably the worst way that happens, although a close second is people who consent to police searches. New Jersey offers more protection than most states when someone consents to a search of their vehicle, but once you consent to that search, you are helping the police enormously. The rapper Jay-Z wrote an entire song about criminal procedure called “99 Problems,” in which he asserts one right after another and, at the end of the song, the police have to let him go because they can’t bring the dogs out to search his car.
The song is a better example of how to protect yourself than anything I can think of; you never have to permit the police to search your vehicle and, if they say they will bring the dogs out and impound your car, don’t let them do it. There was actually a recent Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Rodriguez, which says police can’t hold you at the scene to wait for the dogs unless they already have a reason to arrest you. People should not grant access to their vehicle or their person and they should keep their mouths shut and just let their attorneys do the work once they are involved in a case.
Why Do People Generally Consent To Police Searches?
The police are experts at what they do; they encounter people hundreds of times a week and there’s an old saying, “We have ways of making you talk,” and they do. They can judge you psychologically and figure out the best way to get you talking; I’ve had clients who police scared into talking and others who claim the police were so nice, they figured they just wanted to help and they felt bad for not talking to them. Sometimes, they will just stare at the client and that is enough to get people to spill the beans; police know what they are doing in what is a fearful situation in which people don’t have much experience, so they figure the best course is to do what the police officer tells them.
How Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play When Someone is Confronted by the Police?
Once the police have made a decision to incarcerate you, to take your freedom, to not let you go, they are required to read you your Miranda rights, which most people then ignore and proceed to talk anyway. A custodial interrogation situation means you are in custody and can’t leave, and the police are interrogating you. Once those two things are present, if they do not read you your rights, any statements you give and any information they obtain from those statements can be suppressed.
One misconception for people is that, if the police don’t read them their rights, the charges will be dismissed, but that’s not the case. The police can go ahead and try and prove the charges without those statements; in fact, they may not have ever needed those statements. Not reading your rights is simply not enough if they’ve already searched you or you already told them things before you were in custody, or they have eyewitnesses and your drugs in their possession.
The point at which the warnings have to be given varies and that’s always a big question. For example, if the police pull you over and start asking questions and they happen to hit on information, and they ask if you have drugs in the car, they are not yet at the point where a Miranda warning is required, but if you answer that question, so they will sometimes jump right into it before they have any reason to arrest you and that’s how they get around it.
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