For the average person, being arrested for a criminal offense is a fairly traumatic and scary experience. No matter how many cop shows you have watched or how many police dramas you have read, nothing really prepares you for the real thing. Having a police officer handcuff you and put you in the back of a police car can leave just about anyone confused and unsure how to react. It is not surprising, then, that many arrestees talk to the police, even though they know they should remain silent. A good portion of them even admit their guilt. If that is what happened to you when you were arrested, don’t feel bad – it happens to a lot of people. It may leave you wondering, though, if you still need to hire a criminal defense lawyer given the fact that you already admitted your guilty to the police. The answer is “yes.” In fact, your admission of guilt to the police likely makes it even more important that you be represented by an experienced Nebraska criminal defense lawyer.
Your Right to Remain Silent – What Does It Really Mean?
We have all heard about something called the Miranda warnings at some point in time, to include the right to remain silent. That right is found in the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which reads:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The right to remain silent applies once you are in custody. It is a fairly straightforward right compared to many others you have. It means what it says – you do not have to talk to the police nor answer questions asked of you. Moreover, even if you start to answer questions, you can stop at any time. It sounds easy enough. However, it can be difficult to exercise in real life for many reasons. People tend to be intimidated by the police and feel they should answer questions. The police are also trained to try and get people to talk to them. It is part of their job and they do it every day. They know how to ask questions and what “buttons” to push. The police are even allowed to lie to a suspect in an attempt to get the suspect to talk. If you failed to exercise your right to remain silent, don’t get discouraged. You do, however, need to go into damage control mode at this point.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help If I Confessed?
The fact that you admitted your guilt does not always mean you have no defense to the charges against you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your confession excluded, meaning it will not be admissible at trial. For a confession to be admissible, a number of procedures must have been followed by the police. If they failed to follow those procedures, your confession may be inadmissible. Your confession might also be inadmissible if it was coerced. Whether or not a confession was coerced is determined on a case-by-case basis after reviewing all the facts and circumstances surrounding the confession, which is yet another reason you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to evaluate your case and your confession. Finally, even if your confession does stick, your criminal defense attorney can turn it around and use it to negotiate a favorable plea agreement on your behalf using the argument that you cooperated from the beginning, thereby saving the State a considerable amount of time and money.
If you are currently facing criminal charges in Nebraska, it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.