Question: When arrested, a person has the right to remain silent. But what if the police detain you, interview you, then give your Miranda warnings, and ask you to confirm previous statements?
Answer: The pre-Miranda statements, if not confirmed post-Miranda, should not be used against you in Court, assuming the interview occurred after you had been detained and not in a voluntary conversation. For example, if you are in handcuffs, police should provide Miranda warnings. On the other hand, if the police call you and ask you to come down to the station voluntarily and speak with them, then your statements could be used against you. A favorite police trick is to ask a witness questions before giving Miranda warnings. Then, after they know everything, they provide Miranda warnings and ask people to confirm what they just said. Most people are afraid not to confirm something that was just admitted only moments earlier.
Another way of putting it is to say that police are only supposed to be able to do certain things in a voluntary encounter. After a person is detained, and certainly after they are arrested different rules apply. Defendants should understand that police may use a “voluntary” encounter to gather evidence.
Bottom line: don’t say anything, don’t answer questions, and ask to have access to an attorney.
Common Question: I’ve been arrested for DUI and someone told me that all the penalties are already laid out in the law. Also, I provided a breath sample and it indicated that I was drunk. If that is true, what help can a lawyer provide to me?
Answer: You are quite right that there may be little that an attorney can do for you. People convicted of a DUI are always placed on probation, always have to take certain classes and do community service. A lot of it is already determined, no matter what your attorney does. However, it may be that the police acted improperly and the evidence against you can be thrown out. This would allow you to escape DUI penalties or be offered a plea to a lesser charge such as Reckless Driving. Consulting an attorney at least allows you to have your case evaluated to determine if there are any defense issues. If there is not much of a defense case, and the decision is made to seek a plea to DUI minimums, your attorney should charge you less than if you seek to take the case to trial.
An Orange City man on pre-trial release failed a drug test during a court hearing and was ordered into custody by the judge–that’s when he decided to make a run for it. When court personnel attempted to handcuff him, he jumped over the jury box and over the bar, and tried to run out of the courtroom. A bystander tackled him. Two deputies were injured during the struggle.
The incident shows that court personnel face daily risks at the court house.
The man who was in court for misdemeanor charges, now faces felony charges.
Should people be incarcerated for drug offenses? Is it worth the public expense to house drug offenders in jails and prisons. What do you think?