Common Misconceptions About Criminal Law in Florida
Many people think they understand criminal law, and the criminal process, because they have watched television shows or movies that involve some type of criminal procedure. Real life is not always depicted accurately in the entertainment industry though, and this has led to some common misconceptions about criminal law in Florida. Below, our criminal defense lawyer in Orlando outlines some of the biggest misconceptions about the law, and the truth behind them.
The Prosecution Must Prove Intent
It is true that while some crimes, such as retail theft, do require the prosecution to prove intent, that is not true of all crimes. For example, a person may not realize they are over the legal blood alcohol concentration limit, and drive while impaired. Involuntary manslaughter is another offense that happens by accident. A person may negligently handle a deadly weapon, such as a firearm, and end up fatally shooting someone when they did not mean to.
Police Cannot Interrogate You if You Do Not Answer Questions
Under the Fifth Amendment, you do have the right to remain silent when police question you. Additionally, if you request a lawyer and are not provided with one, anything you say while in custody after that point is not considered admissible in court. However, none of this means that police cannot question you. Police have the right to interrogate you, but it does not mean you have to answer them. In fact, when being questioned by police, the best move is to always remain silent, particularly if your lawyer is not present.
The Prosecution Cannot Convict You Without DNA Evidence
DNA evidence is a powerful tool the prosecution has when trying to secure a conviction, but it is not the only one. There are a number of different types of evidence the prosecution may present including your own admissions, victim and witness statements, video surveillance footage, computer records, or official documents.
A Case is Dismissed if the Miranda Warning is Not Read
Many people are familiar with the Miranda warning because they have seen it on television shows and in movies. They are not familiar though, with when the rights have to be read or what happens if they were not.
The Miranda warning must only be read to a suspect when they are being questioned by police and they are in police custody. Only when both of these things are true are police officers required to read suspects the Miranda warning. Even when police officers are required to read the warning and they do not, it does not mean an automatic dismissal of the case. Any statements made to police may be considered inadmissible in court, but the prosecution may have other evidence that allows them to secure a conviction.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando Can Provide Sound Legal Advice on Your Case
After being charged with a crime, you need sound legal advice about how the criminal justice system actually works. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers can provide that advice and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.