Our criminal defense law firm represents person charged with crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These criminal offenses involve allegations of DUI/DWI, illegal drug, narcotics, and possession of illegal guns and firearms. We always advise clients to respect police and law enforcement but to never give consent to search their vehicle, their home or property. In addition to not giving consent to search, a person should never speak to police without a lawyer present.
This is a critical defense concept. Remember that you have 5th amendment right against self incrimination and a 6th amendment right to counsel (attorney). All of these rights are contained within your Miranda warnings which police are required to give you prior to an arrest. Keep in mind, however, that your Miranda rights are only required if you under arrest and there a plenty of situations where people make incriminating statements prior an arrest.
There are 3 types of police interactions:
- -Mere Encounter
- -Investigative Detention
- -Custodial Interrogation
Miranda only applies to custodial interrogations but you can obviously make a statement to police at any level of interaction between you and police. If you do speak to police and then later attempt to challenge the admissibility of that statement, keep in mind that most courts will find that an investigative detention moves to a custodial interrogation if police begin asking questions which could elicit incriminating statements and you don’t feel free to leave. You don’t necessarily have to be under arrest, in handcuffs, or in a police car. In these situations, the prosecution must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the waiver of your constitutional rights (Miranda) is knowing and intelligent.
This basically means that the Court’s analysis has two distinct dimensions. First the relinquishment of the right must be voluntary in the sense that it was the product of a free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion or deception. Second, the waiver of right against self-incrimination must have been made with a full awareness both of the nature of the right being abandoned and the consequences of the decision to abandon it (Miranda). Only if the “totality of the circumstances” surrounding the interrogation reveal both an uncoerced choice and the requisite level of comprehension may a court properly conclude that Miranda rights have been waived.”
To determine voluntariness, a Criminal Court will look at the following factors:
- the duration and means of the interrogation;
- the physical and psychological state of the accused;
- the conditions attendant to the detention (in a police car, an interrogation room);
- the attitude of the interrogator;
- and any and all other factors that could drain a person’s ability to withstand suggestion and coercion.
Finally, the circumstances of whether a defendant voluntarily waived his Miranda rights and his rights against self incrimination depends on the particular facts of each case. These circumstances include the background, experience, and conduct of the accused.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in PA & NJ
Please click here to contact our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. We offer free case reviews and serve the following areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pottstown, Salem, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Vineland & Woodbury areas.