Mistakes Made by Law Enforcement of Oklahoma
March 24, 2021
You would expect law enforcement to never make a mistake during an investigation if you've been charged with a crime. In fact, law enforcement in Oklahoma can make minor to major mistakes when investigating a crime. This article examines some of the most popular police investigation blunders, which can later be used to build a solid defense. Ask a criminal defense attorney for guidance.
Arresting, Checking, or Stopping Someone without Authority
Law enforcement must have permission to search you, probable cause to search or apprehend you, fair suspicion to stop you, or a warrant to arrest or search you until they can arrest, stop, or search you. This ensures that law enforcement officers cannot arrest or search anyone simply because they seem suspicious or are of a certain color or race. This also ensures that unless law enforcement has probable cause to suspect a person has committed a crime, they cannot apprehend them unless they have an arrest warrant. Both charges must be dropped if a court finds that an arrest or search was unconstitutional.
Not Reading the Miranda Rights of A Defendant
When being interrogated by law enforcement, Miranda rights include a person's protection against self-incrimination as well as their right to have an attorney present. Before being questioned by law enforcement, a person's Miranda rights must be read to them, or their comments would be deemed inadmissible as evidence in a court of law. Miranda rights include the right to remain silent, the fact that something a person says may be used against them in court, the right to an attorney present in interrogation, and the right to have a lawyer appointed by the court if a person cannot afford one. Law enforcement, on the other hand, often takes people into custody without giving them Miranda notices. Coercion is therefore forbidden by law when it comes to obtaining claims that are adverse to a person's interests.
Witnesses Are Not Being Consulted or Approached
Often, law enforcement is unable to identify or question witnesses who can help exonerate a person convicted of a crime. If law enforcement fails to collect contact details for crucial witnesses, charges against a suspect will almost certainly be dismissed if the case goes to trial and the witness cannot be found.
Failure to Follow Chain-Of-Custody Protocols
If a vital piece of evidence is found, law enforcement must treat it according to a "chain of evidence" policy. The term "chain of evidence" refers to what could be shown in court to determine what happened to evidence from the time it was discovered to the time it was used as evidence at trial. Law enforcement, on the other hand, also fails to keep accurate records of how evidence is treated. A judge must exclude facts if the chain of custody is "broken" or aspects of the evidence processing process are not properly recorded, which may result in a person's case being dismissed.
Speak with A Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer in Oklahoma.
If law enforcement has made some of these or other errors, retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney may be beneficial. To schedule a free case review, contact Handley Law Center today in OKC.
** Disclaimer: This blog article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.