Suppressing Statements in Sex Crime Cases
Facing the reality that you’ve been charged with a North Carolina sex crime can be hard to accept. It’s even more difficult when you end up making a statement to detectives that the government plans to use against you at trial. However, just because detectives took a statement from you doesn’t mean that the government can use your statement at trial. In fact, suppressing statements in sex crime cases is one of the most common defense strategies. At Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our aggressive criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience keeping illegally obtained statements out of trial.North Carolina Sex Crime Interrogations
When law enforcement identifies a suspect in a sex crime case, they will often call the suspect in for an interview. Detectives usually take one of two approaches. Sometimes, they “play nice,” asking you to make a voluntary statement, often implying that you’ll be able to “clear things up” by talking with them. Other times, detectives take a much more aggressive approach, telling you that they know you committed the crime and that they’ll “take it easy on you” if you confess.
However, under either situation, you are under no legal obligation to agree to an interview or make any statements. The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution provide all citizens with some very important rights when it comes to police interrogations. You’ve probably heard of Miranda rights, in which an officer explains, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” These rights are the embodiment of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
The general rule when it comes to police interrogations is that police cannot interrogate anyone who is subject to “custodial interrogation” without reading them their Miranda rights. While the nuances of what constitutes custodial interrogation are complex, essentially, it means that your freedom of movement is being restrained and that you are put in a position where you feel compelled to speak. This usually means you’ve been arrested, and the police are asking you questions; however, neither an arrest nor direct questions are required to find that someone was being custodially interrogated.
This is where suppressing statements in sex crime cases comes into play; if detectives fail to read you your Miranda rights while you are subject to custodial interrogation, any statement you make is not admissible. Additionally, if you start to speak with detectives and then ask for an attorney, they have to honor your request and stop asking you questions until an attorney is present. If they continue asking questions, anything you tell them after you requested a lawyer is illegally obtained evidence and subject to suppression.
Given the frequency with which law enforcement use interrogations, suppressing statements in sex crime cases is a common defense to the following charges:
- Rape and other forcible sexual offenses,
- Possession of child pornography,
- Sexual battery,
- Taking indecent liberties with a student, and
- Sex crimes involving minors.
If you face a North Carolina sex crime case, and you made a statement to police, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, as soon as possible. While the best way to keep harmful statements out of trial is not to make them, at the Olsinski Law Firm, LLC, we understand that is not always possible. Our aggressive sex crime defense attorneys have extensive experience keeping admissions and other harmful statements out of trial, and can help you identify the best defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte sex crimes lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Concord criminal defense lawyers at 704-918-4747.