Getting arrested or accused of a crime is not exactly a fun thing. The naturally tendency when this happens is to want to explain your side of things. This seems logical, but can really get you into more trouble. As a defendant, you should let your attorney do all the talking unless they tell you it is okay.
The first thing to understand about the law is you are assumed to know all of it. This is a complete fiction. Nobody knows all the laws. Not you. Not me. Not a Supreme Court Justice. Still, this assumption is a pillar of the legal system. It also means that you can say something that might implicate you in a crime without even knowing it. For instance, let’s say you are accused of carrying out a criminal conspiracy with someone living in New York while you live in California. You comment to police officers or the media that made a call to that person. Guess what? Now a host of other charges are going to be added on the theory you participated in an ongoing crime across said borders! Lucky you.
The second thing to understand is a trial is based on evidence. For all the theatrics you see on television, the best evidence is a statement made by the parties in question. This is known as testimony. Any statement you make against your interest is called a party admission. Not all statements are admissible, however. Any statement made by a non-party is often barred by a rule called hearsay. The rule of hearsay is the key to understanding why you should let your attorney talk for you.
If a party admission is admissible and a non-party admission is not admissible in court, what does that tell you? It tells you that anything you say can be used against you in court, but anything your attorney says cannot. This is why you always see the attorney doing the talking to the media. A defendant in any criminal case is not required to say anything in or out of court and, frankly, shouldn’t unless their attorney feels there is a compelling reason.
We’ve all watched television shows like The Wire, Law & Order and so on. To get a real education, try watching one of these shows with an attorney. They end up screaming at the television as the defendant blabbers away to the police officers. Now, the defendant is usually guilty in these shows, but what about if you are the defendant? Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you!
By: Tom Ajava
Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com