Interviewer: What are the top misconceptions that people have about being arrested for a crime when they speak to you about their case?
Randy Berman: I don’t know if it’s a misconception but people make mistakes when they’re arrested because of the stress and fear associated with process making people feel that they’ve got to say something. It’s not a good time to say anything when you’re under that type of pressure. It’s always best to remain silent, not to say anything even if the police say that it’ll help out the situation or the judge would go easy on them or will put in a good word for them. Police can’t promise you anything, only the state attorney can and the state attorney isn’t bound by anything that the police tell you.
Staying Silent in the Absence of an Attorney; during Police Questioning is the Best Course of Action
It’s always best to remain silent, go through the process, almost always you’ll be entitled to a bail and then you post your bail, get out and then do your talking to your lawyer. There are countless cases where people have opened up their mouth and try to talk their way out a situation that I’ve seen that only made their situation worse or made the case better for the government where they didn’t have a case if they’d kept their mouth shut.
Common Client Mistakes Detrimental to their Case
Interviewer: What are some of the ways that people unintentionally incriminate themselves or work on pending case?
Randy Berman: The most blatant example is recently I had a client who was sitting at a beach after hours so it was closed. He wasn’t doing anything on the beach, just sitting there. A ranger came up to him and asked him what he was doing there and he said “I’m sorry the marijuana is in my bag”. The officer had no probable cause to search him and had he searched him, and found the marijuana without any permission, it would have been thrown out as an unlawful search but when you volunteer crimes that you might have committed or are committing, the officers don’t have to turn their head away. They don’t have to close their eyes or plug their ears.
Sometimes People voluntarily incriminate themselves by talking too much
That’s the blatant example making a huge mistake in essence wrote his own indictment for the prosecution by falling apart when he was merely asked, “What are you doing here?” Any response would have been better than his response like “I’m just sitting here watching the tide” which would have been followed by, well you know it’s after hours, the beach has closed you have to leave. “Okay officer thank you very much, I’ll leave”. It would be a different circumstance if you were sitting on a beach, smoking a joint in plain view and the officer came up when that happened.
The General Public is mostly unaware of White Collar Crimes
Interviewer: Are there any type of crime that you represent people for that the general public usually isn’t aware of?
Randy Berman: I don’t know if people don’t know about it but I handled a federal case involving mortgage fraud where the people involved in the conspiracy were getting fraudulent evaluations of the property that inflated the value. With those inflated evaluations they were able to get huge mortgages and once the money for the mortgages were given to them, they would take the money and not pay the mortgage. That accounted for millions of dollars and losses by banks and federal prosecution for those people that were involved in the scheme.
Not Being Read the Miranda Rights does not dispute the Validity of an Arrest
Interviewer: Did you ever get a client who believed that because the Miranda Rights were not read ; that their case could be dismissed? Do you ever have that?
Randy Berman: Many people have the misconception that if a police officer who arrested them didn’t read the Miranda Warnings that the arrest is faulty and the case is subject to being dismissed. What they don’t understand is that the requirement of Miranda to warn someone before they give a statement that they have the right to remain silent and that if they make a statement it can be use against them in court, only protects admission of the statement that’s made, not anything else.
If an officer stops you for speeding and he asked where you’re coming from, where you’re going and he doesn’t give you Miranda, well those answers might be suppressed but it doesn’t prevent them from prosecuting you for speeding.If the officer shows that he clocked you with his radar gun at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone.Miranda doesn’t necessarily help in throwing out any case if it’s not read; it just helps prevent any statements that you make that could implicate yourself to be excluded from your case. That’s all.