We work with people who have been accused of crimes such as Sexual Assault, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, and Sexual Exploitation of a Child every day. We have helped hundreds of people, who have been charged with criminal offenses in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County. We have seen the mistakes they all make, between when the alleged crime was committed and when they go to trial. Each of these mistakes can cause a significant amount of damage. In this series, I'll discuss the five mistakes I see most often in criminal cases.
Talking (First of Five Parts)
Talking is the most dangerous thing to do if you have been accused of a crime, especially if it is a sexual offense. Whether it's talking to friends or family, the police, a detective, or the alleged victim, talking about your criminal case is always a bad idea, unless you're speaking with your criminal defense attorney. Don't do anything of the following:
- Don't talk to the police, even if they call you to ask a few questions.
- Don't provide an oral or written statement to a detective.
- Don't talk to other inmates at the jail about your case.
- Don't talk about your case on the prison phone (conversations are recorded and sent to the District Attorney).
- Don't talk to your alleged victim (you are probably being recorded).
Miranda Rights and Keeping Silent
Keep this in mind: In my two decades of experience, I have NEVER seen a situation where talking to police has helped a defendant. Talking will ALWAYS hurt your case. Many people watch too much TV and assume a police officer or sheriff's deputy has to read them their Miranda rights upon their arrest. This isn't true. A cop only needs to provide Miranda warnings after you're in custody and they are interrogating or questioning you at the police station in Littleton, Highlands Ranch, or Aurora. Never say anything to the police without first consulting an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The police aren't your friend – even though they may pretend to want to help you. One minute they'll empathize with your situation, the next they will arrest you.
Jail and Prison Phones
Never, ever speak about your case while you're on the prison or jail phone in Larimer, Douglas, or Adams County. These calls are recorded, and all recordings are sent on a CD to the prosecution in your case. Even if you don't talk about specifics of your case, your words will be twisted to fit the DA's case against you.
Pretext Calls in Sexual Crimes
If you have been accused of a sex crime such as Sexual Assault on a Child, you should never talk on the phone with anyone about those accusations or the situation surrounding it. You might be on the receiving end of a “pretext call.” This procedure is often used by the police to gather evidence or get a “confession” in your case. The call is set up at the police station, and technology is used to make it look like the call is coming from somewhere else. Someone (usually the alleged victim) will call you to discuss the situation, and may ask you questions like: “Why did you hurt me?” Or, “do you remember the night we had together?” Never respond to phone calls like this. Whether you say yes or no, the District Attorney will have more evidence against you. Even a negative response can reflect badly on your character: Maybe you paused before you answered (insinuating you are lying), or said it too quickly (insinuating you aren't empathetic). Because of the dangers of pretext calls, we urge our clients to never speak on the phone with anyone but their attorney about their case.
Conclusion: Talking Only Gets You Into Trouble
Talking too much is the number one reason people are convicted of crimes, even after they hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. The government is looking for convictions. They want to catch the “bad guy” and they will go to great lengths, ignore evidence, lie, and twist words in order to do so. One of our clients (click here to listen to Malinda's full testimony), spoke with the police because she thought they would “pursue the truth.” Unfortunately, she didn't know the police weren't on her side: “Only too late did I realize that they were trying to convict me with every word I used.” Thankfully, we were able to win her case at trial, but many others are not so fortunate.Request a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one is facing accusations of a sex crime in Denver, Highlands Ranch, or Lone Tree, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880, or submit the “Get Help Now” form.
Together, we can protect your future.
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