Manhattan hotelier Vikram Chatwal , a good pal of trouble magnet Lindsay Lohan, was arrested after police allegedly found him with illegal drugs at an airport checkpoint. Police say Chatwal was packing heroin, cocaine, ketamine, pot and an assortment of powerful pills when “behavior detection officers” flagged him for a search at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The arrestee provided a post-Miranda statement to narcotics detectives wherein he admitted possessing and purchasing the (drugs) illegally, according to the police report.
According to Black’s Law, self-incrimination is the act or declaration either as testimony at trial or prior to trial by which one implicates oneself in criminal activity. Practically, self-incrimination can occur either directly, where information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed by means of interrogation, or indirectly, where information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed voluntarily without pressure from another person.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from incriminating themselves. Protection from self-incrimination requires the government to prove the case against one using corroborating evidence and other witness testimony, rather than coercing an admission of guilt. Some do not realize that refusing to answer a question because the response could form self-incriminating evidence is legal and proper. However, these rights are not always widely publicized, making one who is unaware, at risk.
Protections from self-incrimination stem directly from torturous practices that were and sometimes, still are, being used to extract information and confessions. Sometimes, police officers will physically injure suspects that they feel are guilty, or that they feel will “admit” guilt when they are actually innocent, in order to be removed from such police brutality. Some of the most famous cases involve criminal suspects being subjected to days without sleep under bright lights, or being scared into submission by a group of police officers who are threatening one, either with trumped up charges or other forms of punishment that may or may not be legal.
Fortunately for citizens facing drug interrogation in Jacksonville as well as across the nation, protections from self-incrimination in the form of “Miranda rights” are now mandatorily read to arrestees due to Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Miranda warnings must be given before law enforcement officers initiate questioning after one has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of one’s freedom of action in any significant way. This means that if one has been arrested, taken into police custody that one cannot leave from, or is in a police dominated situation that a reasonable person would not feel free to leave from, then one must have one’s rights read.
One must be warned, prior to interrogation, of one’s various Miranda rights listed below:
– One has the right to remain silent,
– Anything one says may be used against one in a court of law,
– One has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that,
– If one cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed.
– Further, only after such warnings are given and understood, may one knowingly waive one’s rights and agree to answer questions or make a statement.
Many think that if they do not say anything to police, that they are somehow implying guilt. However, this is not the case. The only statements that police and subsequently the State may use to claim an admission are the statements that one actually makes. Remaining silent, the most beneficial option one does have, does not mean that one has admitted being guilty to anything.
Remember that one has one choice of relief in a situation like this. One charged with a crime of this nature should contact an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s 5th amendment rights and defenses against self-incrimination are known and protected.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Lohan pal and NY hotel magnate Vikram Chatwal in Florida drug bust Brian Niemietz AND Nancy Dillon / New York Daily News