Saturday, February 19, 2011

CRIMINAL CHARGES - YOUR BASIC RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES


  • You must tell police your name, address and date of birth upon request. You do not need to say any more than that and should not do so. You must co-operate with police once you are told you are under arrest, and this includes complying with any finger printing or swab tests for DNA.

  • Anything you and I discuss is protected as legal professional privilege. This means anything you tell me is strictly confidential. I am not permitted to disclose this confidential information without your permission.

  • You should tell me the truth, so that I can advise you properly on what to do. Even if it’s bad, I will not tell anyone without your permission.

  • You do not have to do what I say or accept my advice. It is your decision as to what to do.

  • I will do what you tell me to do provided it is not illegal or unethical. I will do what you say unless there is a good reason for it.

  • Even if you are guilty of the offense, you do not have to plead guilty if you don’t want to. You are entitled to make the prosecution prove its case. But there may be consequences in doing this. You may lose the benefit of an early guilty plea in sentencing and you may incur additional costs.

  • You have the right to remain silent. You should never make any admissions to police before, during or after being arrested.. If you choose to remain silent - it cannot be used against you in court. But if you choose not to remain silent - what you say can be used against you in court. Therefore you should always remain silent.





  • Never do a Video interview with Police. If they want to interview you, them most likely they know things that you don’t, and are likely to arrest you anyway.

  • If police think you are a suspect, you should not tell them anything. Even things that you think are not important may turn out to be important later, and you would have locked yourself into a position. Police will always know things that you don’t know, so you should say nothing.

  • You must not lie in court. I will not present evidence in Court which I know is false. You should not either.

  • You must not discuss out of court what your evidence will be with any person who is likely to also be a witness in court. You should not threaten or intimidate any other person involved in the matter as to what their evidence will be.

  • You do not have to give evidence in court. The decision whether or not to give evidence is entirely yours. The Court cannot conclude that you committed the offense simply because you did not give evidence. However, if you do or do not give evidence, may be a matter which affects the outcome of the case given all of the evidence presented at the trial.

  • If you have done the wrong thing, there may still be things that can be done for you. Speak to a lawyer before you say or do anything. I may be able to assist you in getting the best possible sentencing outcome, or by negotiating a lesser charge with police and prosecutors. Therefore you should remain silent.

  • You must give police your correct name, date of birth and address when requested.

  • You must come to court when you are supposed to, and keep all appointments with court officers. Otherwise you may have your bail or parole revoked, and be remanded into custody.





 

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