While it’s fun to watch Law & Order, CSI and other “true crime” shows, they don’t really give us an accurate picture of the criminal justice system. In fact, some of those shows spread misinformation that people start to believe – so as experienced Milwaukee criminal lawyers, we want to set the record straight.
3 Criminal Justice Myths Busted
There are several criminal justice myths we could bust, but there are three big ones that can really hurt your future.
Criminal Justice Myth #1: Police Have to Tell You They’re Police
Many people believe that if you ask a cop if he’s a cop, he has to tell you the truth. That’s not at all true, but the myth often causes a real problem for people, including many who are eventually charged with possession of a narcotic drug or paraphernalia in Milwaukee. You can ask an undercover police officer a dozen times, and he or she is never required to tell you the truth.
Criminal Justice Myth #2: You Have to Answer a Police Officer’s Questions
When police start asking you questions, the only thing you need to say is “I’d like to talk to a lawyer.” You don’t have to say a word until you’ve talked things over with your attorney, and in most cases, your attorney will be by your side during questioning. That is your right, no matter what you’ve been accused of doing, and the police cannot take it from you.
Whether or not you are guilty of a crime, police can tell you anything to get you to confess. They can tell you that you’ll be better off or promise you that a judge will go easier on you. However, police are in no position to make these kinds of promises; you should never confess to anything without being under an experienced criminal defense lawyer’s guidance.
Criminal Justice Myth #3: Your Case Will Be Dismissed if You’re Not Read Your Rights
Only rarely are cases dismissed because the accused weren’t read their rights. The police are supposed to make you aware of your Miranda rights (“You have the right to remain silent…”) when they have you in custody and are asking you questions. However, a police officer’s failure to Mirandize you isn’t always grounds for dismissing your case.
There are dozens of other criminal justice myths (no, police don’t have to show you their radar detectors or write error-free tickets; you can be charged with a crime even if you don’t get out of the car; and you can still be charged with possession after you toss drugs out the window), but these are potentially the most damaging. Don’t waste time handling tough situations alone – call an experienced Wisconsin lawyer who’s ready to fight for you.