How Far is Too Far When Police Interrogate Suspects?
You’ve been deprived of sleep for over a day, locked in a cramped and hot room, unable to communicate with friends or family. For most of that time, someone has been screaming at you, accusing you of things you didn’t do, telling you lies about what others have said. After all of that, how clear is your head? If you knew you could make this ordeal stop just by saying what they want to hear, would you?
Sadly, this is what can happen when you are detained and interrogated by police. If you’ve been arrested in South Florida, police and investigators will make every effort to get information from you. In fact, what they really want is to get you to admit and confess to the crime they believe - rightly or wrongly – that you’ve committed.
The techniques used by law enforcement during questioning of suspects and the accused can often be aggressive. Sometimes, however, interrogations go past aggressive and cross the line into abusive, improper, and a possible violation of your constitutional rights.
Want to Stop an Abusive Interrogation? Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent and to an Attorney.
It is critically important to never respond to police questioning without first exercising your constitutional right to have a lawyer present. A criminal defense attorney can ensure that police do not overstep their bounds and keep you from making any statements or admissions that could be used against you at trial.
As a preliminary matter, if you are considered in custody and police don’t advise you of your Miranda rights before interrogating you, they will not be able to use anything you say as evidence against you. You are likely familiar with this statement of rights, which include your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent.
What Can Police Do During an Interrogation?
During questioning, police can use a number of different techniques to get the information or admission they want. The “Reid Technique,” commonly known as the “good cop/bad cop” routine, is a common one. Many interrogation methods include fairly outrageous conduct that one would think unacceptable but is in fact allowable, even though it can and does lead to coerced confessions that could be admitted at trial.
For example, police can:
Lie and deceive about what other people have told them or evidence they have obtained;
Make promises in an effort to elicit a confession, such as saying that they will tell prosecutors that you’ve been cooperative;
Act friendly and seemingly sympathetic to you – the “good cop” may try to be conversational and understanding in an effort to get you to open up and talk. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is anything other than an effort to get you to make admissions that could help them get you convicted.
No one should be subjected to this kind of treatment, and police should be held accountable if they engage in such conduct. Even if police don’t cross the legal line during interrogations, the techniques can still trap suspects into making damaging statements or false confessions. The best way to avoid incriminating yourself and to make questioning stop is to exercise your right to remain silent and ask to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
For over 28 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.