Mark Twain once said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." This adage demonstrates just how easily misconceptions and falsehoods can make their way into our lives. The field of criminal law, for example, is rife with them. Below are some popular criminal law myths—explained for your benefit.
3 Common Criminal Law Myths
1. "I Wasn't Read My Miranda Rights, So My Case Is Invalid."
We're all familiar with our Miranda Rights, which remind us we can choose to stay silent and not say anything that may incriminate ourselves or others. Most people think that if they weren't read their Miranda Rights when arrested, their case is legally invalid and must be dismissed. However, this is far from true. Law enforcement is only legally bound to read Miranda Rights when a suspect is in custody and about to be interrogated. In actuality, they have no legal role during an arrest.
2. "My Spouse Can't Testify Against Me In Court."
While there are rules about spousal privilege and marriage communications, they do not apply to a defendant in a criminal law matter. The refusal to testify against one's spouse is only granted to witnesses in a criminal case. If you're considering marrying your partner in hopes they won't be called to testify against you, you may want to search for a more meaningful reason to tie the knot.
3. "The Vast Majority Of Criminal Suspects Are Guilty."
Not by a long shot. The great thing about our justice system is that it really is designed to be an "innocent until proven guilty" model. In many cases, there isn't enough evidence to make a conviction, or the original charges are found to be entirely without merit. Be careful not to assume that someone is guilty just because they are being held in custody or stand as a defendant in a courtroom.
If you live in the Platteville, Wisconsin, area and are in need of a criminal law attorney, contact Scott & Heenan, LLC today. Call (608) 348-9506 or visit them on Facebook or Yelp for more information. Trust your criminal defense to a legal team with over 50 years' experience helping clients like you get the justice they deserve.