Protection from Self Incrimination When in Custody
Arizona’s prisons and jails have specific measures in place to prevent criminal activity when defendants held in custody communicate with others. Arizona prison and jail officials records phone calls made by suspects and also screen USPS mail. The information obtained through these screenings and recordings have the potential to be used to prosecute criminal charges. However, there is an exception in the form of privileged communication that takes place between the defendant and his or her criminal defense attorney.
Avoid the Trap That is Self-incrimination
If you are held in custody for aggravated assault or another alleged crime, you might end up incriminating yourself by mistake. Everyone held in custody should be aware their calls will be recorded and any words uttered during these calls can be used as evidence in a court of law. In fact, the individuals you speak with while in custody might be called upon to testify in a court of law. Even casual conversations with prison officials, jail officials, fellow inmates and guards can be used against you in an attempt to prove your supposed guilt.
The moral of this story is those held in custody for a supposed crime should be silent. The only person you should open up to is your criminal defense attorney. The bottom line is police and the prosecuting attorney will seize the opportunity to use everything you say when held in custody against you to prove your supposed guilt. Your communications can even be used to question a witness’s credibility.
Protect Your Rights
You can do your part to safeguard your rights by refusing to discuss your case when in custody. Being quiet also helps prevent others from being subpoenaed for questioning pertaining to statements made during such communications. In fact, it is a mistake to discuss the details of your case over the phone with any party, including your attorney. Wait until your attorney is in your presence and discuss the nuances of your case in-person at that point.
Invoking the Right to Remain Silent
Communicating your intentions is necessary to invoke your right to be silent. You can communicate this intention in a verbal manner, electronically or in writing. As long as the communication indicates you are invoking your right to remain silent, it will suffice. So don’t assume you can simply remain silent and do nothing at all as it might make police think you are refusing to cooperate. Speak up, state you are invoking your right to remain silent and do exactly that until you can speak to your attorney in-person.
Let Your Criminal Defense Attorney Fiercely Advocate on Your Behalf
If you are in custody for an alleged aggravated assault or another crime, you should know the stakes are high. Penalties for aggravated assault range from 18 months in prison all the way to 20+ years in prison along with considerable fines. This is not a time to take chances. Remain silent, lean on your criminal defense attorney to speak on your behalf, zealously advocate for justice and you will have done your part to avoid significant penalty.
Follow your attorney’s guidance, advice and nuanced instructions. Pay particularly close to your attorney’s guidance in the context of communications while you are in custody. Let your attorney spearhead your quest for justice and there is a good chance you will beat the charges and regain your freedom.