If You Have Been Charged with A Military Crime, Know Your Rights
Many people do not realize that being charged with a military crime is the same as being charged with any other crime in that you have the same rights as anyone else—the right to remain innocent until proven guilty. It is crucial that you know how to protect your rights throughout the process, as well as how to conduct yourself in order to put yourself in the best possible position for your case.
Do Not Waive Your Rights. Demand to Speak with Your Attorney
First and foremost, make sure that you not only do not waive your rights before speaking with counsel, but you do not engage in any activity that could arguably implicitly waive those rights, for example, continuing to talk with whoever is questioning you even after you have been read your rights. You can exercise your rights both politely and firmly at the same time. Remember that you cannot talk to your way out of an investigation, and instead should remain silent while demanding to speak with your attorney. Those questioning you not only do not have to discuss any evidence gathered against you, but they can lie in an effort to obtain as much information as possible. Even if you are kept waiting a long time, be patient and remember that anything you say can be used against you, where talking only helps the prosecution. One of the most important ‘traps’ that your attorney can help protect you against is taking a guilty plea without knowing about everything that is involved. Thanks to criminal justice reforms passed in New York, you and your attorney have the right to examine all information that would be discoverable three days before the deadline for felonies and seven days for other crimes.
Once you are working with your attorney, make sure that you stay as involved as possible in your case. Not only should you be kept fully informed at all times, but make sure that you discuss the long haul in your case, including any potential post-trial appeals. Know that your opinion about your case matters, and if you are uncomfortable with your attorney’s approach, you can request a different one.
No Search Without a Warrant
It is also important that you never consent to a search. Keep in mind that when you provide your consent, law enforcement can not only search everything in your home, but they can also dump your cell phone’s memory. When law enforcement has to get a search warrant, that warrant specifies what exactly can be searched and seized. Keep in mind that if there is something specific that you would like to hand over to law enforcement, you can always do so after speaking with your attorney and using the proper channels to do so.
See Through a Lie Detector Test
Also know what a lie detector—or polygraph test—is and is not. There is a reason that the results of these tests are inadmissible in court; it’s because they are unreliable. In this sense, law enforcement can use them as fake crutches to try and obtain confessions and more information.
Contact Our NYC Criminal Defense Attorneys
Remember that your attitude and behavior always matter. Avoid doing anything risky and of course racking up additional charges. If you have been charged with a military crime in New York, contact our experienced NYC criminal attorneys at the office of Mark I. Cohen, Esq. to find out how we can help provide you with the very best defense.