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The Importance of Legal Representation During Police Interrogations


Lawyers help protect your rights during police interrogations. Some people are worried that getting a lawyer during an interrogation will make them look guilty. But in reality, hiring legal representation is not only your right, but it could be the best move to protect your rights. 

One thing many people do not understand about police interrogations is that they are designed to put immense psychological stress on the person being questioned. There have been many documented cases in which innocent individuals make false confessions due to pressure or coercion by police. By hiring a criminal defense attorney like the team at Alvine Law Firm in Sioux Falls, SD you can protect yourself during interrogations and beyond.

Do you need legal support? Arrange a free consultation by calling 605-275-0808

The Role of Police Interrogations in the Justice System

Police interrogations are part of what is known as due process in the legal system. Due process ensures individuals are given fair, equal rights, and it is supported by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. 

Before police can arrest a subject, they must obtain an arrest warrant (South Dakota Codified Law 23A-2-5.1). The warrant is a legal confirmation that a crime was committed and that law enforcement believes the individual in question is likely responsible for it based on evidence. However, under cases of probable cause, police can arrest someone without a warrant, and the person can be taken into interrogations without the need for a warrant.

Before you are interrogated, police must read you your Miranda rights. These are rights that allow you to understand what you do and do not have to do during questioning. Miranda rights are required when someone has been placed in police custody and is preparing for what is known as custodial interrogation (you have been arrested and cannot leave without appearing before a judge). 

The arresting officer should notify you that:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • You have a right to a lawyer present during questioning.
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one can be provided for you upon your request.

The police must read an arrested individual their Miranda rights if they want anything the person says to be viable as evidence. Without a case being Mirandized, it can still be prosecuted, but statements from the individual will not be able to be used against them in court.

The Role of a Lawyer in Police Interrogations

Your lawyer can provide a thorough understanding of your situation, your rights, and the likely outcomes of your interrogation. They can let you know what questions may be suitable to answer and which you should not answer. The lawyer can also answer questions for you during the interrogation. They will advise law enforcement when they are overstepping the rights and protect your best interests throughout questioning.

Legal Guidance 

Being arrested and interrogated can be extremely stressful. People who are feeling anxious about the outcome of interrogations may be more likely to say things that could incriminate them. A lawyer’s presence can help you remain calm and navigate the complex interrogative process without saying anything that may harm your case.

Furthermore, a criminal lawyer can also ensure that you are not asked questions that violate your constitutional rights at any point in time. 

Having a criminal lawyer in Sioux Falls, SD, by your side can also help you avoid misunderstandings that sway the outcome of the interrogation. Remember, the police are seeking a confession during interrogation. They may phrase questions in a way that are confusing and ultimately cause you to make statements that could work against you in court. 

In the United States, police are allowed to lie during an interrogation. The Supreme Court confirmed that police can use deceptive techniques to obtain a confession in Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969). However, police cannot make claims or threats against an innocent person to reach a guilty confession.

The lines can quickly become blurred during interrogations, and naturally, you may fear the repercussions of anything you say during questioning. If you find yourself in need of legal support in Sioux Falls, SD, contact the experienced team at Alvine Law Firm. 

Build a Strong Defense

While you do have the right to remain silent during police investigations, there are cases in which making certain statements during interrogation trials can help you. Rather than defend yourself, It is best to work with an attorney who understands how to strategically defend you against any accusations brought against you.

Lawyers understand the legal system and the United States Constitution. They know what you can and cannot be tried for and they will be able to clearly identify when the police are leading you in questions. They will be able to interrupt and help you respond to questions you are willing to answer in the most effective way possible.

Negotiate Plea Bargains or Deals

When you are guilty of crime, or you have information that police want to know but you do not want to be incriminated for sharing it, an attorney can help you negotiate a deal or plea bargain. Plea bargains do not mean that you are held completely innocent for crimes that you committed. However, they can help you reduce sentencing. 

When you make a plea bargain, you are admitting guilt to a crime that you committed in exchange for reduced sentencing or having other charges dropped. This can reduce your overall liability and prevent you from paying larger fines or spending more time in jail or prison.

Risks of Waiving Legal Representation

Although you are not legally required to have an attorney during police interrogations, waving your right to legal representation could be detrimental to the outcome of your case.

Without fully understanding your rights or being misled during questioning, you could unintentionally say things that incriminate you. Individuals who are innocent may even falsely confess to a crime and be sentenced to prison. False confessions are more common than people realize, and they are difficult to discredit once they have been made. 

While your lawyer will always work in the name of justice, that also includes ensuring that people who have committed crimes are given a fair sentence. Your attorney will be your advocate, championing for your best interest while ensuring a rightful outcome to the case.

Hire a Criminal Lawyer in Sioux Falls, SD

Alvine Law Firm has offices in Sioux Falls, SD. We are here to fight for you. Please call 605-275-0808 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney. 

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