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How Do You Advise Clients That Want To Plead Guilty?

Whether you did it or not has nothing to do with whether you should plead out. Again, it is not what they did. It is what the state can prove. They may decide, if they get a reasonable offer in lieu of a harsher punishment, and they do not want to take the chance at trial, pleading out, if it is the right plea, is the smartest thing to do. Other times, it is not, but giving up is never the smartest thing to do. Unless an attorney advised you, you are going nowhere. Some people are hell bent on going to trial. I love to try cases. You want to pay me to try a case. I will try a case, but I am going to tell you that there may be little likelihood of success. If you want to follow through, that is okay by me. I win some of those cases. It is up to the defendants as to whether they want to take the chance.

How Often Do People Believe That Their Case Will Get Dismissed If Their Miranda Rights Weren’t Read?

You hear that all the time that people believe their case will be dismissed if their Miranda rights were not read to them. Alternatively, they have recorded the wrong height, the wrong weight, or the wrong hair color. Those are urban legends. Miranda only applies if they are going to take a statement from you when you are detained. They can arrest you, throw you in a jail cell, never give you a Miranda, charge you, and let you lose. All Miranda does is stop them from using any statements against you. They do not have to give it to you. People become pretend lawyers because they watch too much TV.

Won’t The Police Just Ask all The Questions First And Detain The Suspect Later?

Once you are a detained suspect, they have to give you Miranda if they want to keep on talking to you. One of the things I advise people to do, if they say, “Well, I was peripherally involved in something and the cops want to talk to me,” retain me, and let me talk to the cops. I will ask them directly, “Is my client a suspect?” If they are, then there is no statement to be made, because Miranda now kicks in. If they are not, I want an explanation as to why they need them as a witness against somebody else. I may let them speak to the police if I am there under controlled circumstances.

When they bring you in, you do not know what the reason they are bringing you in is, and again, they are very good at doing what they do. They may get information from you that are not admissible in court, because they did not give you Miranda, and certain preliminary questions are always okay.

There are situations where somebody rolls their car over, and there are two dead people, and the driver of the car is standing in the middle of the road and a cop comes up and says, “What happened?” That does not need Miranda. That is just a preliminary question, and you say, “Oh my God, I had too much to drink, and I lost control of the car, and I killed those two people.” These are different circumstances.

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