A Few Myths Behind Criminal Law, Arrests and the TV
Criminal offenses aren’t free from myths created by those who thought they can outsmart the law, and we owe it to modern television. In our modern set-up where media plays a very big role in information building, it is important to differentiate the myths and misconceptions about the law that’s been altered by the popular media. Here are some of the most popular myths about getting arrested:
1.) The law always requires the accused to have a bail
Before considering doing some random actions just to burn money, remember that the court doesn’t always grant bail on certain cases. People usually see on police shows that arrestees can walk out in custody so long as his purse is fat. Wrong. The judge has the authority to sentence the accused based on what he/she thinks is a reasonable punishment. Certain cases like felonies are not bail-able offenses and if the accused is considered likely not to appear on trial.
2.) Minor offenses don’t cause much trouble
This is one of the most popular misconceptions about getting arrested: a mild offense probably means nothing. This has led to cases where the defendant fails to consult an attorney. This must not be so. An offense, if guilty, is still an offense and has to be answered in appropriate procedures; this appropriate procedure includes a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to represent the client. Sadly, there is still a small percentage of population that believes they can win the case all by themselves because of a minor offense they committed.
Also consider that If there are people who can afford paying a few dollar to clear their records clean by paying their fine, there are some that even the mildest misdemeanor can cost them their scholarship grant, tenure or other opportunities.
3.) Failing to read the Miranda Rights will invalidate the case
Television really changes how we view things. People now think, thanks to the police-oriented drama series flourishing on television, that if a police fails to give the Miranda warning, all the charges will be dismissed. This is not the case. In real life, these circumstances can either tip on your favor or do nothing to your case at all. The police who failed to do so may face disciplinary actions, yes, but it is very rare for the DA to drop the charges. Basically, Miranda Warning is not needed if the accused is not in custody; everything that the accused will say before giving the warning may be used against him/her if he/she gets charged later with a crime. Examples are cases when the accused starts confessing to the officer even the warning is given.
4.) The Accused is considered guilty
Never believe in television shows that the first person they arrest is most probably guilty. According to the US Supreme Court, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this practice, all the charges against the accused shall undergo legal procedures to prove his guilt or innocence.
5.) The Victim will probably drop the charges once the accused apologizes
How simple the law would be if that’s the case. Sometimes, a sincere talk is not what everyone really needs, especially in criminal defense. However, once the legal mechanism starts working and the DA or Solicitor grabs the case, it is no longer the victim’s call to dismiss the charges or not whether he/she forgives the accused.
For more information about Criminal Law, Arrests and TV, Contact Attorney Ross Goodman.