Being Charged with A Military Crime
Being charged with a military crime is no different than any other crime in that you still maintain certain civil rights as a U.S. citizen, and that also means remaining innocent until proven guilty. And, like all other criminal charges and cases brought against criminal defendants, how well you know your rights and thus conduct yourself can have a significant outcome on your case.
Below, we discuss some of your rights and suggestions on how to conduct yourself if you or a loved one is accused of a military crime:
Remain Silent Until You Speak with Your Attorney & Do Not Take a Guilty Plea
Like anyone else who has been accused of a crime, you do not want to waive your rights before speaking with counsel. Know that this does not mean you having to explicitly inform whomever is questioning you that you are officially waiving your rights; it can, instead, be implied by behaving in a certain way, such as continuing to talk to these individuals even after you have been read your rights.
If you have been accused of anything, reaching out to a criminal defense attorney as part of your right to have an attorney present, right away, is always advisable. Also know that authorities are not required to inform you of what evidence they have against you, or do refrain from lying to try and obtain information from you. Also know that, even if you are being forced to sit and wait, you should simply remain silent and seek counsel. Talking only assists the prosecution.
Guilty pleas are another huge issue; not only or civilians; but in military crimes. You never want to cave in and take a plea without consulting with your attorney. Know that, if you are not getting the advice that you need, you also have the right to request a different attorney.
Stay Involved in Your Case
Once you have an attorney, also make sure that you stay as involved as possible with what is going on. This includes the need for your attorney to keep you fully informed, during both trial and on appeal, if applicable, of the process and anything significant. You will want to discuss as far into the future as possible with them to make sure that they have this in their awareness, including any potential post-trial appeals. Also do not be afraid to let your attorney know when you feel strongly about going one way or another on a particular issue or decision.
No Consent to A Search Without a Warrant
Also be careful about consenting to a search by law enforcement without a warrant because, if you provide them with consent, they cannot only go through all of your property, but all of your emails and cell phone memory as well. A search warrant is very important in that it forces authorities to get specific about what can and cannot be seized. If there is something you specifically want to provide to law enforcement, it is best to hand it over to them – after consulting with counsel on the choice – as opposed to having them go look for it on their own.
Lie Detector Tests
Lie detector tests (also known as polygraphs): There are far too many misconceptions about them. There is a reason that the results of these tests are not admissible in court—it is because they are unreliable. Instead, law enforcement tends to use them almost as a “fake crutch” in trying to get people to confess.
Attitude & Behavior
Your attitude also has an important impact on your case. Maintaining a good attitude and keeping things professional can ultimately make a difference in your case. This also includes staying out of trouble and avoiding any additional charges.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys
Your attorney should always do best for you as an individual, and that includes aggressively protecting your rights. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys at the office of Phillip J. Murphy today to find out about our defense services.