Sahn Law Firm - Attorneys at Law

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Encountered By Law Enforcement?

The most common mistake people make is not exercising their right to remain silent and right to an attorney. Even if you have done nothing wrong, giving a statement to a police officer without your attorney present can have catastrophic consequences. We do always recommend you remain polite with the police and comply with the commands that you are required to by law (see above), such as providing your driver’s license, registration, and insurance when pulled over while driving. Also, you do have to step out of the vehicle if the officer requests it. After that, you may exercise your right to remain silent, which includes refusing to perform field sobriety tests.

How Common Is It For Most People To Give Police A Statement On The Spot?

Unfortunately, it is very common. Most people get nervous and anxious when encountering police and, because of this, give up their rights. They also mistakenly think that remaining silent or asking for an attorney will make them look guilty and be used against them in court. The law does not allow either of these to ever be used against a person in court.

I Spoke To Police Before And After My Arrest. I Didn’t Have An Attorney With Me. Surely They Can’t Use Any Of That Against Me?

Before you are “in custody”, which means you are not free to leave, anything you say actually can be used against you in a court of law. Also, once you are in custody and have been provided your Miranda rights, if you then give a statement of any questions, you are waiving your right to remain silent and anything you say can be used against you. The best advice is to not answer any questions without your attorney present.

What Kind Of Training Do Police And Detectives Get When It Comes To Questioning People?

Experienced police and detectives often receive very in-depth training when it comes to questioning or interrogating suspects or witnesses. This creates an environment where it is really not a “fair fight.” Even if the person has done nothing wrong, their statements can be taken out of context or they can misspeak because they are so nervous.

Also, there have been many proven cases of “false confessions,” where people end up confessing to a crime that have not committed. Some people are just more suggestible than others, and they will eventually accept as fact something false that has been suggested.

Another technique used by law enforcement is deception. There is where the police can lie to you about a fact or circumstance, in an effort to get you to admit to something. They often do this by promising you something in return for the admission.

The next technique often used is that of Good Cop/Bad Cop. In this technique, two police officers will pretend to take opposing sides while interacting with a subject. The good cop will pretend to stand up for the defendant and take his or her side. Meanwhile, the bad cop will take the opposite stance. The goal is for the defendant to think he or she can confide in the good cop and provide information that he otherwise would not have.

What’s The Difference Between Being Arrested And Being Detained?

When someone is held for a brief holding and questioning, that is considered being detained. When someone is arrested, they are taken by the police into custody, with the ability to move being significantly restrained. Usually, when someone is being arrested, they will be handcuffed and read their Miranda rights.

I Was Questioned By Police While At The Station. Were They Allowed To Lie To Me?

Yes, police officers can and often do lie while questioning suspects or in the course of an investigation. This is a common misconception. The reality is that there is no law or regulation that prevents the police from lying about the strength of their case, from making misleading statements or from implying that the interviewee has already been implicated in the crime by someone else. This was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court case, Frazier v. Cupp (1969). This case basically made legal the use of deception in interrogations by police.

Can Police Say Absolutely Anything In An Interrogation Or Are Some “Lies” Off Limits?

The police and detectives are not allowed to use physical or psychological coercion when conducting police interrogations. A confession or evidence that results from coercive methods is not admissible in court. For example, the police may not use torture, threats of any kind, drugging the suspect, or inhumane treatment during an interrogation. The police, however, can use lying, trickery, and other types of non-coercive methods to obtain a confession from a suspect.

For more information on Common Mistakes Made in Police Encounters, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.

Sahn Law Firm - Attorneys at Law, located in Charleston, South Carolina, provides representation throughout Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Daniel Island, Sullivan's Island, Georgetown, St. George, Hanahan, Santee, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and Beaufort. The firm also represents people in the municipalities of Charleston County, Dorchester County, Berkeley County, Georgetown County, Clarendon County and Beaufort County.

Office Location

Sahn Law Firm - Attorneys at Law

225 Seven Farms Drive
Suite 105
Charleston, SC 29492

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Phone: (843) 856-2222
Fax: (843) 971-0991

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