WHAT ARE THE MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE THAT HURT THEIR CASE?
What Are Some Common Ways That People Unintentionally Might Incriminate Themselves Or Hurt Their Pending Case?
People incriminate themselves just simply by talking. That’s the biggest mistake. They think it’s similar to having trouble with your mom. You can talk to your mom and explain things. You can’t do that with police and you certainly can’t do that with the court system.
No one ever talks themselves out of trouble with the police. They have made up a decision that they are going to arrest you, so they arrest you. They may not even be sure in their own mind but it’s not their job to decide what ultimately happens to someone. It’s their job to get people in the system that they believe may be guilty of a crime and then let the court system sort it out. The only thing you do when you’re talking to the police is hurting yourself.
Also in Kansas, if you are arrested for DUI, one of the first things an officer is going to do is going to have you do divided attention tests. They will present tests to you as though you don’t have a choice whether or not to take them. In other cases, they are going to present it to you in a fashion like this, “Well, I’m going to have you do these tests just to make sure you’re safe to drive, okay?”
Any time an officer ever tells you that, he has already made a decision that he thinks you are intoxicated. Anything you do after that, it’s just going to further his opinion that you are under the influence. The truth is, very few people prove that they are not intoxicated by doing these tests. When you do a field sobriety test, the tests are very subjective.
Attorney Brandan Davies has been through the exact same training with the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration that the officers have to take. He is certified to administer the tests and according to his experience, these tests are incredibly biased. If a person already has it in their mind that you are drunk, a hundred times out of a hundred, they are going to find evidence that you’re drunk. So, doing tests like that only hurts you.
Other things that hurt people in incriminating themselves talking on a jail phone. There are many people with good cases that got sunk because they didn’t listen to their attorney and they talked on a jail phone. The phones at Johnson County Jail report everything. They even tell the defendant they are recording them but people are sitting in custody and they have got nothing to do. They are worried about their case. They call mom or they call dad or a girlfriend and they want to talk and before long, evidence that the police didn’t have is recorded in the defendant’s own voice.
Another way by which someone can incriminate themselves is when they first appear in front of the judge and they don’t have a lawyer. People think that’s their time because they watch TV shows and see on TV it happens in one court appearance. In real life, it happens over many court appearances. They think that’s their time to argue their case and they will be up in front of a judge admitting to things that can later be used against them. However, if they would just not say anything, they would have a lot better case to fight.