Criminal Charge Myths
Upon being arrested, it isn’t unusual for people to receive misinformation about the various aspects associated with facing criminal charges in Florida. As practicing criminal attorneys with numerous years of legal experience, we collectively believe that it is crucial to provide people with the reality behind the many myths of being charged with a crime in Florida. While these myths create unnecessary fear and anxiety, they also influence people to make poor choices that could cost them a significant amount of money and quite possibly, their freedom. In light of the above, the following is a list of the most common myths of being charged with a crime in Florida:
- If I tell the police that I do not want to answer their questions, they must automatically cease their interrogation.
This is absolutely false. In order to assert your constitutional rights during a police interrogation, it is not enough to simply state that you do not want to answer any more questions. Specifically, you must invoke your right to counsel in order to stop all line of questioning. In the event that police continue to interrogate you once you have invoked this right, any evidence obtained in violation of this well established rule will be suppressed.
- If I choose not to testify, the jury will immediately presume that I am guilty.
While not testifying may make anyone wonder whether you have something to hide, this is not necessarily true in all cases. Moreover, it is far better to have the jury suspect that you are guilty than to have you be cross examined and inadvertently confirm their suspicions.
- If I lose my case, I will definitely win my case on appeal.
Although every criminal defendant has the right to appeal their conviction in Florida, only a very small fraction of cases are reversed on appeal. Therefore, it is highly recommended that your focus be on winning your case when it first goes to trial rather than assuming you have a better shot later on of prevailing.
- I was not read my rights so therefore, my case must automatically be dismissed.
Despite what some televisions programs may make us think, not having been read your Miranda rights does not warrant the automatic dismissal of your case. Only statements made in response to police questioning can be suppressed when a defendant has not been read their rights.
- They do not have any DNA evidence so my case will be dismissed.
Regardless of the lack of DNA evidence or whatever else that is used to prove criminal liability, a prosecutor can still make the case against you based upon circumstantial evidence. That is why it is never recommended that a person make assumptions about their case based upon the strength or weaknesses of the evidence.
- If I do not call witnesses, the jury will assume that I am guilty.
Rarely does a defendant win simply by calling witnesses. In fact, sometimes witnesses can actually harm a case through effective cross-examination. Moreover, typically a jury is instructed that they cannot decide a case based upon the amount of witnesses or complete lack thereof.
- My statements must be suppressed since I told police not to question me further.
If you have been arrested and are the unlucky subject of interrogation, police can ask you questions even when you tell them not to. Specifically, police are crafty in getting people to speak, which is important to know should you be arrested. The only way to legally stop all police interrogation is to invoke your right to counsel – that is, advising the police that you will not answer any further questions without having your attorney present.
If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, it is essential to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the nuances and complexities associated with these types of cases. For more information on our comprehensive criminal defense services, contact the law firm of Ayo & Iken today to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation at 1-800-469-3486 or feel free to email us. We provide superior legal representation to clients located throughout the Orlando, Tampa, Clearwater, Lakeland, Wesley Chapel and New Port Richey areas.
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