5 Myths of Criminal Defense Law
Oct. 6, 2017
Criminal charges comes with a lot of unknowns, and no small amount of speculation about what to expect from the process. The offices of Greg Nelson are committed to delivering an aggressive and compassionate defense for all our clients and ensuring they are treated fairly, and to that end we want you to be informed. Here are some of the most prevalent myths people believe about criminal defense cases and criminal defense law.
If the accused does not testify, they must be guilty
A major concern defendants often have in criminal trials is that they will be seen as guilty if they don’t testify. The truth is that defendants have the constitutional right to choose whether or not they testify. While a jury may feel some suspicion if a defendant doesn’t testify, that is far better than if the defendant faces cross-examination and says something incriminating.
Suppressing of statements
A common misconception among defendants is that if they tell police they don’t want to answer questions, any statement they’ve given will be suppressed. Unfortunately, that is not enough to actually have your statement suppressed. Instead, defendants must specify that they won’t answer questions without their lawyer present.
A strong alibi is the best defense
Statistically, no, an alibi is not the best defense. In fact, it’s one of the worst, especially on its own. Evidence is the best defense, and relying on the burden of proof is far more effective, and it requires that the prosecution do the heavy lifting.
The case can be dismissed if Miranda Rights weren’t read
Another myth that often misleads defendants, this idea is one that has become common in pop-culture and crime dramas. If it happens that the police don’t read the Miranda warning before questioning a suspect, the result will at most be a suppression of any statements made prior to that time, but the case won’t be dismissed.
Without DNA/fingerprint evidence, no conviction can be made
Similarly popularized in crime TV shows, people today often fall prey to the belief that without fingerprint or DNA evidence, a prosecution is too shaky to go through. That’s not the case, and a good criminal defense lawyer will tell the defendant as much. A lot more goes into such cases than just DNA and fingerprints.
We are here to help you, and our passionate team knows how to help defendants overcome all the myths and obstacles that come with navigating the criminal justice system. To learn more about these myths, or for a consultation, contact us today!