Hello, my name is Susan Farris and my hobby is learning about the law. I have an uncle who is an attorney and I've always looked up to him and that's why I find subjects on law very interesting. Through speaking with my uncle and doing research on my own, I've learned about all the different fields of law. Each field of law centers on its own subject and most attorneys specialize in a certain area of law. These include criminal, personal injury, family, bankruptcy, criminal, immigration and business. I find each one of these fields very interesting and I have the utmost admiration for lawyers because they help people through their legal struggles. I wanted to share this information with others who have questions about the different types of attorneys and the law.
If your familiarity with the criminal law process comes through TV shows like Major Case and Law & Order, you're not at all prepared for the actual reality of a criminal investigation, arrest, and trial. Here are three of the major differences between how television presents the criminal process and what you should expect in real life.
1. On TV, only the guilty ask for lawyers.
On TV, innocent people talk to the police but guilty people "lawyer up." In real life, innocent people do seek attorney representation quickly—and they should. The moment that you realize that you are the subject of a criminal investigation, you should seek out the services of a criminal attorney.
You need your lawyer's protection during an investigation because an attorney can keep you from saying something that could incriminate you in a way that you don't understand. An attorney can also intercede if the police try to manipulate you or pressure you into a confession. For example, look at the case of Brendan Dassey, the nephew of convicted killer Steven Avery. If an attorney had been present during his interrogation by police, it's unlikely that the young man would have ever been arrested, much less convicted.
2. TV trials happen quickly after an arrest.
On television, the defendant in a criminal case barely has time to change into a suit after the arrest before the trial starts. In real life, you can wait months or years for your criminal trial. While defendants are guaranteed the right to a speedy trial, there are plenty of reasons that a trial can be delayed. Delays might be requested by the prosecution, the defense, or even the court.
Generally speaking, the more serious the charges against you, the longer the wait between your arrest and your trial. For example, despite the fact that Jodi Arias was arrested in July 2008, the opening arguments in her trial for the murder of Travis Alexander didn't begin until January 2013. The reason for the delay included things like court-ordered competency testing of the defendant and time for the defense to review thousands of emails and text messages for possible evidentiary value.
3. TV makes forensic evidence look absolute.
If you watch a show like Bones, you might think that forensic science has reached the stage where computers can take the slightest impressions found on bone or flesh and recreate exactly how a murder happened. A single fingerprint or stray hair can seal a criminal's fate with ease. In reality, the value of forensic evidence in a trial is often hotly debated and highly questionable.
While DNA evidence is considered the most reliable kind of evidence, there are often questions about possible contamination and issues with the chain of custody that can make even DNA evidence disputable. Fingerprint analysis, which is often portrayed as an exact science, has been repeatedly shown to rely heavily on the examiner's skills. Bite mark analysis and ballistic identification are also faulty. In addition, recent cases like that of Annie Dookhan, a chemist who routinely filed false test results over the course of a decade, have brought to light just how easily scientific testing can be manipulated.
For more information on what to expect during the criminal trial process, no matter what stage you are in, talk to an attorney in your area, like one from Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices, today.Share
18 August 2016