When the police investigate crimes, they often depend on information provided by suspects and witnesses to begin to form their conclusions about how the crime progressed and exactly who was involved when. This process has its flaws, though, and one of them is that during the early investigative stages, it is easy for witnesses to find themselves under intense scrutiny as police begin searching for a suspect. Even worse, it is not uncommon for such witnesses to find themselves under suspicion because of small inconsistencies that result from being asked the same or very similar questions repetitively.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a recent ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The case concerned a young man who was convicted of the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in a 2007 incident. On appeal, the defendant argued that police used deception and coercion in order to get him to confess to the crime.
Many people charged with a crime assume that they only need an attorney when/if the case goes to trial, but this isn't true. Even before any charges are filed, law enforcement may try to get a confession out of a suspect using deception and coercion, and suspects need to have someone who can help them understand their rights.
When individuals are subject to the terms of parole or probation, failure to abide by those terms can land offenders in jail. In Wisconsin, one of the terms of parole and probation for individuals convicted of sex crimes mandates that they must submit to lie detector tests when these tests are requested.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling which will protect the rights of minors accused of a juvenile crime. The Court recently ruled that minors who are questioned as a suspect in a crime must be considered "in custody" and have their Miranda Rights read to them by law enforcement officials.
Anyone who has watched a police drama has heard: "you have the right to remain silent." This speech is known as the "Miranda Rights." Since 1966, police have been required to read a suspect their Miranda Rights at the time of arrest. The goal is to inform a suspect that he doesn't have to incriminate himself by answering police questions.