Oct 06, 2020 Fairfax criminal defense lawyer on challenging alleged Miranda waivers
Fairfax criminal defense lawyer on challenging alleged waiver of the Miranda right to remain silent
Fairfax criminal defense — and defense in all criminal courts — includes making every effort to exclude all adverse statements actually and allegedly made by the defendant. As a Virginia criminal lawyer, I look at the totality of the circumstances for such challenges, including the timeline and details of the defendant’s interactions with the police, which does not start merely with when and with what words the police first advised the defendant of his or her right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment and Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), but also about what happened before that warning (including whether police started questioning the defendant before administering Miranda warnaings, and also the level of coerciveness or not in interrogating the defendant. As a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer, I know that this coerciveness analysis includes assessing the tone of voice of the police; such physical intimidation as patting the cop’s pistol, leaving little physical space between the police and the suspect, the number of police nearby the police, the size of the interrogation room, and even the stuffiness and stinkiness of the room.
Do police have to ask me if I waive my right to remain silent before my post-Miranda statements are admitted into evidence?
Unfortunatley, a police officer’s not asking whether the suspect waives his or her right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during interrogation does not automatically make the suspect’s statements inadmissible in court. At the same time, at a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer, I know that whether Miranda has been waived looks at the totality of the circumstances. Therefore, police failure to ask whether the suspect waives such rights can sometimes prove fatal to prosecutorial efforts to introduce such statements in court when considered wiht the rest of the quantum of interrogation circumstances. Md. v. Shatzer, 559 U.S. 98 (2010); Edwards v. Az., 451 U.S. 477 (1981).
Does “no” mean “no” when a Virginia criminal suspect asserts his or her right to remain silent or to a lawyer?
A Virginia criminal suspect should be as clear as possible in asserting his or her right to remain silent and to a lawyer. I know as a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer that such mealy-mouthed half-assertions of such rights as “I am not sure I want to answer further questions” will not be as effective in barring one’s words from court as “I will not answer any questions” and/or “I will not talk without a lawyer.” Burrell v. Virginia, 58 Va.App. 417 (2011). In other words, asserting the simply elegant words of “no” is the most powerful approach.
The Virginia Court of Appeals will not require police to read a suspect’s mind for the possible assertion of Miranda rights, says Fairfax criminal defense lawyer
It is not enough for a Virginia criminal suspect to subjectively want to stop answering police questions or to assert his or her right to remain silents. Therefore, when a Virginia criminal suspect “stated that certain questions he didn’t want to answer without a lawyer.” As a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer, I know that clarity is essential in asserting one’s Miranda rights.
Fairfax criminal defense lawyer Jonathan L. Katz delivers a full-court press towards your best possible defense against Virginia felony, misdemeanor and DUI prosections. He will be delighted to meet you for a free in-person consultation about your court-pending criminal or DWI case, by calling 703-383-1100.