Being accused of a crime, especially if you are innocent, is likely to be a frightening, confusing event that can cause great anxiety. We have all grown up believing that the truth will eventually prevail in all matters including the criminal justice system. Unfortunately any system created by people and ran by humans sometimes does not work properly and makes mistakes. This principle applies to the criminal justice system. Even when the police, the prosecuting attorney and judge are all people who are honest and intend to do the right thing, mistakes do occur.
This is why anyone accused of a crime needs to talk to an attorney as soon as they are accused. Many people speak to the police when they know they are being accused of a crime because they believe that the matter can be quickly cleared up. Also, many people believe that if they get an attorney before an interview, they will look guilty. Both of these assumptions are mistaken.
Unfortunately, statements from innocent people can provide just the information that causes the police to believe that you should be charged. Submitting to an interview by law enforcement without professional advice often makes things worse. The innocent accused person do not know the facts related to the crime and, indeed, the police can lie about the facts in order to obtain what later will appear to be a confession. The police have received training that is designed to obtain facts that will make the prosecuting attorney’s job easier. If the police did not have some facts that causes them to believe that you might be guilty, they would probably not take the time to interview you. A true fact such as your location at the exact time when a crime occurred can be enough to get you charged even when you are innocent.
Many innocent people have been charged with crimes because they thought that they could make it better if they talked to police and they made it worse. We have all heard of people who have served long prison sentences and where subsequently released after they were determined to be innocent. Many of these people were charged because they submitted to an interview by police without talking to an attorney.
I have tried approximately one hundred criminal jury trials some as the prosecutor and some as defense counsel and I know that the average person who might be charged with a crime needs the clear, unemotional support of a defense attorney when they have reason to believe that the police suspect them of the crime, even when they are innocent.
In a perfect world it would be impossible for an innocent person to be convicted of a crime; however, our world is not perfect, and innocent people are convicted of serious crimes far more frequently than most people realize. Circumstantial evidence, if not explained or rebutted by an experienced criminal defense attorney could be enough to convict you.
The best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not convicted of a crime you did not commit is to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney the moment it becomes apparent the police are even looking at you as a suspect or a “person of interest.” I have the experience in dealing with these serious matters and I am willing to help if you or your family members are accused of a crime.