One day, there may be a knock at the door, and the police want to speak to someone at a residence. Persons suspected of criminal activity in Louisiana could find themselves at the center of an investigation. Maybe the police will contact a suspect over the phone or stop a person on the street. Some suspects may make mistakes when interacting with the law, leading to more trouble for them.
Discussing matters with law enforcement
A “casual” phone call from a police officer could be far more serious than a suspect realizes. The call may include a possible request to speak to the police in person, and all statements made to the police could end up used as evidence.
Oral statements may accompany a written document that a suspect ends up being asked to sign. Signing the document could lead to “confessing” to wrongdoing. Unfortunately, nervous suspects or those unfamiliar with how the process works may make mistakes, finding themselves facing a tougher time in court. Ironically, evidence outside of what a suspect says or signs could be weak, and the suspect provided the statements necessary to strengthen the prosecution’s hand.
With a stronger case and more evidence, plea bargaining may become harder. Requesting a dismissal of charges could find its way off the table.
Invoking the right to remain silent
A suspect has the constitutional right to remain silent as noted in the Miranda reading. Suspects also have the right to face questioning in the presence of an attorney. Exercising these rights may greatly help the defense. An attorney could prevent a client from saving anything that may negatively affect him or her.
A criminal defense attorney could examine the circumstances surrounding how the police procured a confession. A defense attorney may be able to help even when the defendant made statements. Illegally obtained statements may turn out to be inadmissible.