In interactions with law enforcement or other parties, what you say often becomes an important matter of record later on, when a case is brought for any reason.
What we’re going to talk about sort of stands in the junction of three of our core practice areas – DUI defense, criminal defense, and personal injury.
Applying the Law on the Street
One overarching problem with these types of cases involves discrepancies between how various people may view the law.
You can see it all the time in practice – in an initial encounter with law enforcement, two parties see the law differently. They may even argue the law to each other! The problem is that there is no time or resource to bring a judicial view to the encounter at the time, so that judicial review has to be deferred. But without the impartial ruling, the discrepancies are going to continue. So it’s not uncommon for a small difference of opinion to escalate into criminal charges on one side, or on both sides. We are seeing that abundantly now, as the media zeros in on so many problematic first encounters that have to do with what people are saying to one another on the street.
Our client, (and every client and every citizen), should know that in these initial encounters, the words themselves are the ballast and the catalyst for what happens later. Words escalate into physical altercations, detainment, charges, and even assault.
This concept goes far beyond a person’s right to Fifth Amendment silence. It goes to the ways that we treat the law as we are embroiled in it, again, in an initial encounter that doesn’t have clear guidelines or rules directly imposed by a judge. In past times, we have had social contracts that have tried to govern these interactions, but many of those types of contracts are less durable than they used to be, and we’re seeing that in various elements of criminal defense.
The bottom line is that excellent legal representation works to resolve these cases after the initial encounter. When parties can hopefully separate and review the information at hand, there is a much better chance at resolving a case before it escalates further. There is also, in many cases, a good chance that the professional attorney can help a defendant to mitigate or remediate charges before they become full-blown trial fodder, or parties need to negotiate a plea deal.
We can provide much more detail on how this works in initial consultation with our professional attorneys. Call us with any concerns about your rights under the law, and legal scenarios you may be involved in. We can help.