Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

Archive for the ‘Fifth Amendment’ tag

Four Ways to Avoid Incriminating Yourself After Your Arrest

December 5th, 2018 at 11:24 pm

incriminationWhen you are arrested, your primary objective should be to defend your case to reduce your chance of being convicted as much as possible. Simply being innocent of a crime does not guarantee you will not be convicted. We can estimate the number of Americans who are wrongfully convicted each year, but we cannot know for sure just how many innocent people head to jail and in some cases, die by execution. But we do know that it does happen. Your criminal defense lawyer’s job is to protect you from being convicted. But there are ways you can reduce your chance of being convicted, too. Take some time to educate yourself on ways to avoid self-incrimination.

Choose Not to Talk with Law Enforcement

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees you the right to avoid self-incrimination. During interactions with law enforcement, you are under no obligation to answer officers’ questions or to even make small talk with them. After you are arrested, tell the police that you do not want to talk to them. Follow that statement by saying that you would like to speak with your attorney. Officers are required to stop questioning you when you request your lawyer.

Retain a Lawyer as Soon as Possible

The sooner you start working with a lawyer, the more effectively he or she can help you defend your case. This is because by retaining a lawyer shortly after your arrest – or if possible, retaining a lawyer before your arrest – gives your lawyer time to coach you through interactions with law enforcement and gather the evidence you will use to support your position in court.

Have Incriminating Statements you Made Thrown Out

When you are interacting with law enforcement, you are scared. You are unsure about the outcome you are facing, and in these moments, it is quite possible that you will make statements that can work against you. Your lawyer can file a motion to suppress certain statements if you were coerced into making them or if you were not read your Miranda Rights. Coercion can happen when you are physically harmed by an officer or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable, such as being denied water.

Keep Your Case to Yourself

Whether you have been arrested or not, you should always keep your case’s details to yourself. You can never know who might be asked to provide testimony about your case. The best way to limit the amount of information that can be given in court and potentially used against you, even information that initially seems neutral or like it could work in your benefit, is to keep it between you and your lawyer.

Work with an Experienced Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Start working with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. To learn more about your rights and how you can avoid incriminating yourself during interactions with law enforcement and the court, schedule your initial legal consultation with our team at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. Call us at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2014/04/28/how-many-people-are-wrongly-convicted-researchers-do-the-math/

#######################################################

Perjury in Illinois

August 17th, 2015 at 8:41 am

Illinois criminal statutes, Ililnois defense lawyer, Illinois crminal attorney, When a person is facing criminal charges, the temptation and incentive to lie can be overwhelming. Very few people want to go to prison or want to be on probation, so many people try their hardest to talk their way out of trouble. Sometimes that talking involves lying. That lying, depending on the circumstances, can result in serious criminal charges, including perjury charges.

What Is Perjury?

If you have been involved in a trial or ever seen a court show on television, you have seen the process of swearing in, during which the witness is asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” The witness always responds with “I do,” or “yes,” or some other affirmative answer. With the possible exception of some witnesses who are asserting their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, witnesses rarely respond “No.” Yet, some witnesses lie. When a witness swears to tell the truth and then fails to do so, the question becomes whether he or she has committed the very serious offense of perjury.

Under Illinois law, a person commits perjury when he or she, while under oath or affirmation in a proceeding where this is required, makes a false statement that is material to the issue or point in question and he or she knows the statement is false. The important thing to remember is that in order for the statement to be perjury, the person making it must know that the statement is false. Imagine, then, a case that relies on an eyewitness identification. If the eyewitness identifies the wrong person as the person who committed the crime, but he or she believes she has the right person, he or she is not committing perjury. But if he or she knows he or she has the wrong person but makes the identification anyway, then he or she is committing perjury. Perjury is a class 3 felony.

Sometimes people have questions about oaths versus affirmations. Some people’s religious or personal beliefs prevent them from swearing oaths. When these people have to testify they are given the option of affirming that what they are saying is true, and that they understand that they can be charged with the crime of perjury if they do not tell the truth. An affirmation is like an oath without the potentially religious connotations.

Call Christopher M. Cosley

If you are accused of or being investigated for a crime in Rolling Meadows, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. You should contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. We pride ourselves on providing full-service representation that is specific to your goals and the details of your case. We will fight for you.

#######################################################

Miranda Warning: You Have the Right to Remain Silent. You Should Use It.

April 2nd, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, your rightsAnyone who has watched television in the last 40 years has heard it: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed before any questioning.” Even though we have heard these rights over and over again, most people do not understand what they mean, as well as the importance of asserting these rights. When you are a suspect in a crime, regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent, using these rights may be the most important thing you do to protect yourself.

Where Do These Rights Come From?

Even though the exact words we hear on TV and that people hear again when they are interrogated by police are not found within it, they exist because of the United States Constitution. Specifically, it is the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution that requires police to inform you of these rights before interrogating you. They have had to do this ever since the United States Supreme Court determined it is required in the case Miranda v. Arizona. This is why the rights are often called your “Miranda Rights.” The Fifth Amendment is the one that, among other things, protects you from being required to be a witness against yourself. In Miranda, the United States Supreme Court decided that it is extremely important for people being interrogated by the police to understand that they do not have to answer questions and that they have the right to an attorney.

The Miranda Warnings Leave Out an Extremely Important Part

Remember the part of the warnings where the officers say, “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”? What they do not tell you is an equally important and true piece of information: Anything you say cannot and will not be used to help you in a court of law. Countless criminal suspects, both innocent and guilty, waive their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney and talk to police thinking that what they say will help them. But in most cases, it will not. This is because of a rule against “self-serving hearsay.” When you find yourself at trial months or years after your interrogation, you cannot introduce your early denials into evidence to help your case. The law does not allow it. It only allows the prosecution to introduce your statements against you, not the other way around. Also, what many people do not realize is that police do not make charging decisions; prosecutors do. And prosecutors are trying to prosecute you, not look out for your best interests. That is why it is extremely important for you to assert your rights so that you can have an attorney in the room who is on your side.

A Note about Extreme Police Misconduct

Unfortunately there are some police officers who do not play by the rules. In the Chicago area we have even historically had some police who have subjected suspects to torture to force them to confess to crimes. Obviously any person can only withstand so much, and if this sort of thing should ever happen to you then you can only do your best. In these cases it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as you can in order to take steps to obtain any evidence that remains of what happened to you.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When police try to interrogate you, they often take many steps to dissuade you from exercising your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present for questioning. Do not let them get away with it. Call an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley who can protect your rights. The phone number for the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is (847)394-3200.

#######################################################
Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top