The Right to an Attorney in Criminal Cases

Most people have watched enough television to know what Miranda rights are –

Although everyone has heard these rights, it is amazing to me, how many people waive them when the police come to “talk”.

First of all, unless you are sitting in the back of a police car, or in a police station and YOU ARE NOT FREE TO LEAVE, you are not entitled to these rights.

Secondly, just because you were arrested doesn’t mean the police have to read you your rights. If they’re not planning on talking to you, there’s no reason. I hear so many people say, “They never read me my rights.” Thinking that in itself will get them out of the crime.

Please note, even if you were in custody AND no one read you your rights AND they questioned you – you still might not get out of it. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. And the lawyer you hire. Just because the police didn’t follow the rules, if your attorney doesn’t file a MOTION TO SUPPRESS, it doesn’t matter.

In a recent case out of Tampa, Florida – the police brought a man named Green into the station for questioning on several Dealing in Stolen Property charges. He was clearly in custody. They read him his rights and he said he wanted a San Angelo injury lawyer. As happens more often than not – the cop told Green he couldn’t get him a lawyer right this minute – it just didn’t work that way. The cop continued to question Green who ultimately confessed. Although I realize this happens all the time, it’s rarely on video tape for the court to witness.

The fact that there was a videotape of the confession was lucky for Green, because the Second DCA said his confession should have been thrown out since he “unequivocally” asked for a lawyer during questioning. See Green v. State, 2nd DCA, 9/9/11

If the cops want to question you about ANYTHING – even if you know you’re completely innocent – ASK FOR A LAWYER – and stick to your guns. Don’t let them bully or confuse you. Eventually it will become your word against theirs – and who do you think the prosecutors and judges will believe?

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