7. Even if you are innocent and only tell the truth and do not tell the police anything incriminating and the entire interview is videotaped, your answers can still be used to crucify you if the police have any evidence, even mistaken or unreliable evidence that any of your statements are false. You never know what information the police have or what is in their file against you. Furthermore, you can never be certain what the police are investigating you for. Any evidence that makes it seem that your testimony is false, even when it is not, can be used to make you appear unreliable. If the witness was confused or had inadequate information, they will still seem more credible than you if you had told the police something contrary to what a witness says.
Example: A juvenile, being charged as an adult, who truthfully confessed to a series of thefts and assaults. Unfortunately, at the same time, his elderly grandmother, who was his guardian, had told a different story that she also thought to be true. Both the client and the grandmother stated truthful, yet contradictory stories. The primary element of the case was whether or not he had permission to drive a vehicle. Ultimately the word “permission” was related to what extent he was allowed to drive the vehicle. As a result, the sheriff added automobile theft charges to the other less severe charges. The client said he had permission to drive the car and the grandmother said he did not, but the extent of the “permission” was taken out of context because she meant he did not have consent to use the vehicle to commit another crime. Finally, he was convicted of automobile theft even though we believed he did not steal his grandmother’s car; he simply used it for different reasons than his grandmother would have allowed. The prosecutor made it seem like to the jury that he stole his grandmother’s vehicle.
8. The police do not have the authority to make deals or grant a suspect leniency in exchange for getting a statement. Many people are under the misconception that the police can get them a better deal if they confess. However, the police are not the ones that have the authority to make deals. The Prosecutor, which is the District Attorney in Superior Court or the Solicitor General in State Court is the only party that can negotiate plea agreements, grant immunity, or make deals. Therefore, it is better to wait until you have your Georgia Criminal Attorney speak with them to work out an arrangement or plea deal.
Example: Countless clients that have been told by police officers that if they cooperate things will go easier. It occurs in a wide range of crimes from DUI to Aggravated Assault cases. Ultimately as stated above only a prosecutor can offer a negotiated plea.
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