In Putnam County, Florida, a 16-year-old girl was conviction of murder, burglary, and assault. While in police custody, the Florida teen confessed to helping her boyfriend kill the disable 66-year-old man. It took the jury only two hours to find her guilty.
Confessions can be devastating to a criminal case. In most instances, the defendant is lured into the confession. Often, a police officer states that the defendant is only helping herself by speaking with him, but this is far from the truth. Any one that is charged with a crime, should exercise their right to remain silent and have an attorney present for questioning. If a defendant wants to answer and officer’s questions, she should have an attorney in the room when doing so. Police officers have experience in interrogating suspects, whereas most suspects do not have experience in this area. Thus, the playing field is not level. In order to keep things fair, an attorney should be there to advise the defendant.
As a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I have represented many clients that had great cases until I received a copy of the confession. In some cases, I was able to get the confession suppressed, so the jury never gets to hear it. However, this does not happen in all cases. The moral of the story… when an police office says “you have the right to remain silent,” do not talk. If you still have the desire to speak with the officer, tell him that you will speak to him, but you would like to have an attorney present. If he does not want to talk to you after that, then he has something to hide.
For more information about confessions, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer.