Being arrested for domestic violence can be a stressful experience. At the moment you are arrested, you might be confused as to what you should do and your first impulse might be to explain what happened and give the Police your account of what happened. However, it is important to keep in mind that you have Miranda rights during a domestic violence arrest in Ft. Lauderdale, which protects you from incriminating yourself. It is important to avoid speaking with the Police if a Lawyer is not present because you run the risk of implicating yourself. If you have been arrested for domestic violence and do not know what your next steps should be, retain a qualified domestic violence attorney who can make sure your rights are protected.
Miranda Rights Explained
The right to remain silent is grounded in the Fifth Amendment. It has been interpreted by a well-known United States Supreme Court case by the name of Miranda. The case was litigated in the mid-1960s and helped not only Law Enforcement, but everyone who works in the criminal justice system, determine when the Fifth Amendment privilege is applicable when it arises, and when a person has a right to remain silent based on the Fifth Amendment.
A person has to be in custody, meaning that they have to be the subject of Law Enforcement and their freedom of movement has to be limited. It does not require an arrest, though an arrest is a type of form of being in custody. There are exceptions to this rule with the most common one being routine Berkemer traffic stops. An individual must also be the subject of interrogation. An interrogation has been defined as a question that is reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. Typically, questions of identification and booking-related questions do not fall under Miranda and the Fifth Amendment, because those types of questions are not leaning towards any type of incriminating response.
Importance of Not Speaking to Police Without a Lawyer
It is not good practice to speak to a police officer without a lawyer present. Most law enforcement officers would give this same advice to their own family members. Whether or not the person is guilty, it is never a good idea to speak to law enforcement. It is a constitutional right that all people have granted by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, to remain silent. The person never knows what it is that they might say that could be misinterpreted or taken the wrong way which is why it is better for an individual in Fort Lauderdale to practice their Miranda rights following a domestic violence arrest.
The laws require the government to prove charges against people who are accused – they have the burden of proof. It is not an accused’s job or duty to aid the police or prosecution to investigate a criminal charge that they might be facing. Typically, if law enforcement wants to engage an individual in an interview or an interrogation, it is in an effort to build evidence with respect to their case. More times than not, it tends to be more harmful than helpful.
Consequences of Speaking to Police Without a Lawyer Present
If a person chooses to make any statements and the statements are not recorded, they can be taken down wrongfully or words can be misinterpreted. It is not good practice and the majority of domestic violence defense attorneys would strongly advise anyone facing those accusations to exercise their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
The good thing is that when and if the case goes to court, the fact that people exercise their right to remain silent or choose not to answer questions cannot be used against them as evidence of guilt. For example, it is not allowed to be argued in court that just because somebody chose not to answer questions, they must have done something wrong, or they are guilty. It is a part of a Ft. Lauderdale resident’s Miranda rights following a domestic abuse arrest, and also a common practice. Whether an individual feels that they did or did not do something wrong, it is not a good idea to speak to the police without an attorney present or perhaps even at all.
Value of an Attorney
Although it is natural for someone to want to explain themselves following an arrest, it is not a good idea or good practice to engage in answering law enforcement’s questions, especially without an attorney present. Even if, for example, an attorney is present, most lawyers would still discourage their client from answering any law enforcement’s questions.
Anything that could be presented to law enforcement or the state attorney’s office can be done through an individual’s lawyer without putting the individual at risk and having those statements be used against them. A knowledgeable attorney would encourage their client to enact their Miranda rights during a domestic violence arrest in Ft. Lauderdale. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, contact an attorney and remain silent until you are in the presence of your lawyer, and together you can begin to build your case.