How prosecutors may use someone’s statements against them

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Anyone who has been accused of criminal activity in Florida has the right to a defense. They can work with a lawyer to prove their innocence or raise questions about the validity of the state’s case. People also have the right to remain silent after an arrest.

Quite a few criminal defendants fail to make use of their rights. People often think that they can talk their way out of a situation when dealing with law enforcement. Many people have good intentions and believe that by cooperating, they can exonerate themselves. Unfortunately, police officers can trick people into making statements that prosecutors can later twist to help build their case in criminal court.

How might prosecutors use someone’s statements to make them look like a criminal?

By showing inappropriate knowledge

During the investigation into criminal activity, law enforcement agencies often limit what information they provide to the public. That way, they can identify potential suspects based on their awareness of non-public information. Police officers may ask people questions and then record their answers as a way of establishing that they know more than the average uninformed person should about the situation. Even if someone obtained that information innocently, disclosing certain knowledge to police officers can give prosecutors ammunition.

By undermining their trustworthiness

One of the more common interrogation tactics used by modern police departments is to keep someone in a room for hours. By exhausting someone in subjecting them to repetitive questioning, police officers hope to get them to make a mistake. Sometimes, an individual asked the same question multiple times or very similar questions repeatedly may begin to contradict themselves. Both contradictions and misinformation provided during police questioning can end up used as evidence undermining someone’s trustworthiness during their trial.

By asking leading questions

Police officers and prosecutors questioning someone during a trial may use leading questions as a way to make someone look guilty. They may try to prompt an emotional response to make it look as though someone had intent to cause a crime.

Both the right to remain silent and the right to legal representation can help someone when they face questioning by law enforcement authorities. Knowing and using one’s rights when interacting with law enforcement or facing criminal charges is important for personal protection. Defendants who remain silent and who have legal representation are generally in a much better position to safeguard their interests as their case evolves.