Articles Tagged with avoiding self-incrimination

How to Protect Your Rights in a Plea Bargain and Deferred Prosecution

Maricopa-County-Trial-Statistics-HD-e1494596719400If you have criminal charges, it is likely that you will be faced with the decision of whether or not to take your case to trial.  As an alternative to trial, you may be offered a plea deal or participation in a deferred prosecution program.

Last year Maricopa County Superior Court reported that of 99.8 percent of terminated DUI and criminal cases, only 2.2 percent went to trial.

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) reported similar statistics in 2016.   The USSC reported 97.3 percent of criminal cases were resolved without trial, while only 2.7 percent went to trial.

video-camera-1412649-mA Tragic Video Confession

You might remember the viral video of an Arizona man, 22 year old Matthew Cordle, who caused a fatal drunk driving accident. He provided a confession in a four-minute online video that went viral with 2.3 million views last September.

Cordle began his chilling confession with “My name is Matthew Cordle and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession.”

Vincent Canzani 61, was the father of two daughters, and a former USA Naval Submarine Veteran. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Immediately following the crash, Cordle was taken to the hospital for his injuries. But at that time he denied being intoxicated, driving impaired, or causing the fatal accident.

Cordle confessed in the video, that he was driving the wrong way on an interstate, and crashed into Vincent Canzani vehicle.

In the video was the blurred face of man, Cordle, admitting to barhopping, blacking out and driving home drunk. Cordle explained that he had been drinking heavily before getting behind the wheel, and blacked out just before losing control of his vehicle.

Cordle had not yet been charged at the time the video was made, but was expecting the charges to be brought based on the DUI blood test results.

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550-0038-0409-0105-2144.jpg45 years after Miranda v. Arizona – Its impact on the US Criminal Justice System
Over the last 45 years, legal controversies and challenges have continued to plague the “Miranda Rights”. Yet still it is recognized by all states in country. Following an arrest, the police must inform or warn a person of their “right to remain silent” and their right to defense counsel.

In Arizona the right to remain silent is afforded by both the United States Constitution and the Arizona Constitution. The right to remain silent is a privilege, because it enables a person to a avoid self-incrimination.
Under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution a person shall not be compelled to be witness against themselves in their criminal case. When you hear someone say they are “pleading the 5th”, this is usually what they are referring to.

Article 2, Section 10 of the Arizona Constitution states that no person shall be compelled to testify or provide testimony, or statements against their own defense.
The right to avoid self-incrimination existed long before the landmark case. But since the US Supreme Court ruling in favor or Ernesto Miranda, in Miranda v. Arizona in 1966 they have been referred to as “Miranda Rights or “Miranda Warning”. In this case, the defendant Ernesto Miranda made a confession, which led to a conviction based on his statements. Ernesto Miranda appealed the decision and prevailed in the US Supreme Court. His argument was that he had not been made aware of his right to remain silent during interrogation, or criminal defense attorney.

If a person is arrested for a DUI or crime, it is important that they invoke their rights. After an arrest and before any interrogation the police must read a suspect their Miranda Rights. Invoking one’s right to remain silent helps avoiding self-incriminating statements that can later be used against them.
To invoke the right to remain silent one must verbally or in writing put police on notice that they wish to do so. If a person simply remains silent, they will be perceived by police as being uncooperative. It’s also important for a suspect to answer routine questions regarding identity and residency as well as the booking process.

Criminal Rights Attorney Chandler AZ

If you have been arrested, be sure you invoke your right to remain silent regarding the charges, until your defense attorney can be present, or has given you other instructions. If your rights have been violated, it may lead to dismissal of charges, other challenges or defenses in your case. You should always consult a criminal defense attorney if you face active charges to discuss your matter, and options for defense.

Additional Resource Links:

Arizona State Legislature – AZ Constitution

Miranda Rights Q. and A.

Justia Law Summary: Miranda v. Arizona 1966

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