This final installment concludes our series of popular myths about criminal law – and what you really need to know.
Myth #7: I can always get a second trial.
Truth: While it is true that anyone convicted at trial has the right to at least one appeal, you can’t appeal a conviction just because you think the outcome was wrong. Appeals are granted when something went wrong in the trial process. Also, if you plead guilty, you are not eligible to file an appeal.
Appeals address “errors of law.” The goal of an appeal is to examine the original trial records, admit new evidence and otherwise determine if the initial trial process was conducted correctly.
In addition to a retrial, you might also make a motion for reconsideration or a motion for a new trial. However, in most cases there are strict time limits with regard to either type of motion.
If you are thinking about appealing a previous conviction, a consultation with one of our qualified attorneys can help you determine the strength of your case and your likelihood of success.
There is no cost for our initial consultation. Come see us, and get the answers that will finally give you some peace of mind.
When it comes to a criminal offense, you should always be looking for ways to prove that the arrest didn’t happen the way it should have according to the law.
Myth #8: I should just plead guilty.
Truth: Police make mistakes all the time. And when they do, not all of their evidence is admissible in court. You should consult with an attorney about your arrest before entering a guilty plea.
Mistakes commonly made by arresting officers include, but are not limited to:
- Violating the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires that any search or seizure be based on probable cause. Your arrest is considered a seizure under the law.
- Failing to read you your Miranda rights—that you have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be used against you, and you are entitled to a lawyer—upon making an arrest. This failure may exclude evidence that might otherwise lead to a conviction.
- Following procedures incorrectly when collecting blood, saliva or urine samples or gathering other evidence to be used against you. This can impact their ability to submit the evidence at trial.
- Failing to collect evidence properly including a challenge to the accuracy of the arresting officer’s observations and other aspects of your arrest.
If fighting your criminal charges is something you’re still considering and you’d like to know whether or not you are likely to succeed, please pick up the phone and give us a call.
Crime shows have led the public to believe that all you have to do is pass a lie detector test and you’re home free. The charges will be dropped because you have “proven” you’re innocent.
Unfortunately, you’ve been buying into this myth:
Myth #9: A lie detector test will prove I’m innocent.
Truth: Lie detector tests tend to be biased AGAINST the innocent because of the way the results are judged. A lie detector is more likely to hurt your case than to prove your innocence.
Lie detector tests often make the innocent appear guilty. This happens because people who are telling the truth are more relaxed and honest when answering the control questions. Then, when they begin to ask “tough” questions and your stress level increases, even a slight increase in stress will cause you to “fail” the test.
If you have been convicted of a crime yet you are innocent and want to prove your innocence, please call our office immediately. No innocent person should go to jail. Unfortunately, the innocent too often believe that their innocence will be obvious and that they will not be convicted.
This is far from the truth. Most people view you as guilty until proven innocent, even though the system is supposed to believe you are innocent until proven guilty. You need a dedicated attorney on your side who can present your case in the most advantageous way possible.
We know your options when it comes to criminal defense. Simply pleading “guilty” may not be the wisest decision for you.
Before you enter a plea or if you have already done so, you might want to consider the consequences.
Depending on the type of offense, some penalties you may face if convicted include:
- Jail or prison time, ranging from days to years
- Restrictions on working in certain fields
- Restrictions on voting
- Restrictions on owning firearms
- Possible deportation for non-citizens
- Community service
- Orders to fix the offending situation
Of course the criminal penalties don’t include other consequences like job loss, loss of respect, reduced ability to get a job or live where you would like to live in the future and even loss of the custody of your children.
Whether or not you are subject to these penalties often depends upon the strength of your legal representation. If at any time you decide you’d like to speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine which of these penalties you may be facing and to discuss how to reduce these penalties or even win your case, please contact our THE UPTON LAW FIRM to schedule a consultation with us.