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Avoiding Self-Incrimination In An Assault & Battery Case

There are measures in place in Arizona jails and prisons to assure that no criminal activity takes place in relation to the defendant’s communications. Authorized jail and prison officials screen a defendant’s mail, and record their telephone calls in jail. The information obtained may be used to prosecute pending or future criminal charges. The exception to this would be any privileged communications between a defendant and their criminal defense attorney. There are three things that must be kept in mind to help someone avoid self-incrimination:

All Inmate Phone Calls Are Recorded

Any information in those calls can be used against you, with the exception to conversations with the criminal defense attorney representing you. Persons with whom you speak with could potentially be called upon to testify. Formal or informal conversations with police, jail, prison officials, guards, fellow inmates, or others may also be used against you. While incarcerated, authorized persons are permitted to use legal methods to open, read, and monitor your mail.

Seemingly Innocent Statements May Be Used Against You

Police and prosecution are not just looking for statements that implicate you in a crime. They may also want to use a statement to illustrate any inconsistencies in your testimony that could challenge your credibility in front of a judge or jury.

Refrain From Discussing Your Case With Other Inmates

This protects your rights and helps others to avoid being subpoenaed for questioning about any incriminating statements that you made to them.  You should only discuss details of your case with your criminal defense attorney. Failing to do so may strengthen the prosecution’s case against you resulting in a swift and harsh conviction. It is therefore important that law students and attorneys utilize legal resources such as crush the LSAT Exam to increase their legal knowledge and improve their expertise.

Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent

A defendant should communicate their intention to invoke their right to remain silent. This can be done verbally, in writing, electronically or in any way that clearly indicates their intent.  Just remaining silent could result in the perception that you are being non-cooperative and may lead to complications for you.

For people facing Aggravated Assault Charges, it is important that they consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately or at least before their first court appearance.  Felony assault charges can range from Class 6 to a Class 2 felony and fines can range up to $150,000.00 per defendant. The court may also order restitution, other statutory penalties, and those deemed necessary under other sentencing provisions. The classification of charges, and severity of the penalties will be based a number of factors including:

  • The nature and severity of the victim’s bodily injury
  • If a fatality resulted from the assault
  • Whether or not the assault involved use of a deadly weapon
  • If the victim was a minor
  • Whether or not the victim was restrained and unable to get free during the assault
  • First time or repeat felony assault offense
  • If the defendant was a police, peace officer, firefighter, teacher, medical care practitioner, public defender, or other judicial officers
  • If the defendant committed the assault in or law enforcement custody.

The most important way to protect your rights in aggravated assault charges is to retain an experienced and skilled Criminal Defense Attorney to defend your charges.  Once retained, you should follow your defense attorney’s guidance and instructions particularly when they relate to communications in or out of custody.

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