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Common Misconceptions About Being Arrested

Interviewer: What would you say are the top misconceptions people have about being arrested for a crime when they speak with you about the case?

Glen Malia: The Top misconception is, I don't know if it's a misconception but it's just like, looking at things wrongly is not seeing the crime as serious as it really is because the average person doesn't recognize the serious impact having a conviction can have on you permanently, particularly, having a criminal conviction because of the existence of the internet now and employers doing background searches and things of that nature, potential employers being able to find out stuff that they couldn't find out years ago and things of that nature. The biggest misconception is that the only thing they have to worry about is what's going to happen in court, are they going to go to jail, because for many people that is not the biggest consequence of a criminal conviction.

Common Client Mistakes that Lead to Self-Incrimination

Interviewer: What would you say are some of the biggest mistakes that people make or ways that people unintentionally incriminate themselves or hurt their pending case?

Glen Malia: The biggest mistake anybody ever makes is right from the very get-go, trying to talk their way out of it, giving the police officers, basically just talking to a police officer. There is a reason why the police officers have to read Miranda Rights. The bottom line is they read you the Miranda Rights. The average person should listen to them and not say anything. There's a really obnoxious expression, newscasters use it, “Should lawyer up.” The average person, they don't quote, "Lawyer up," they try to talk their way out of it. They don't pay attention to the fact that every important person who ever gets arrested lawyers up right away. The biggest mistake they make is giving any type of statement. Then I’d say the biggest mistake they make is thinking that if they go to trial, the jury is going to believe them instead of believing the police officer.

Human Reaction To Being Arrested and Prosecuted for Committing a Crime

Interviewer: What have you learned about people's behavior and their reaction to being arrested and prosecuted for a crime? What human insights have you gained into the whole process?

Glen Malia: It depends. It depends. Some people, there's a couple classifications of people who have been arrested. Number one is you have the people who acknowledge that they did something wrong and they regret that they did something wrong and they realize they got caught and, in essence, they need to use this as the learning experience that it can be, whether it's the drunk driver who can use it as the experience, "Okay, I need to do something about my alcohol, that maybe I have an alcohol problem so that this doesn't happen again." The drug addict, the same thing, "It's time for me to change my life because I'm going down the wrong road." Those are frequently your people who are charged for the first time. They recognize, "Hey, I was doing something wrong, and, yes, I got caught, and I've done this same thing numerous times beforehand ..." or most likely did the same thing numerous times before "and I was lucky not to get caught. Now that I got caught, I got to read the writing. I got to read the tea leaves. I've got to read the writing on the wall, and I've got to change my life," and they move on, and that's their only arrest their whole life.

There are People Who Get Used to Being Arrested and Don’t Change Their Conduct

Then you have the diametrically opposed type of people who are being arrested all of the time and don't change their conduct, and to a large extent some of them have become effectively institutionalized, that they feel as comfortable being in jail as they feel being out on the streets. It's easier for these people because they’ve been doing it for so many years, getting arrested, pleading guilty, going to jail. It's easier for them sometimes to actually be in jail and with the time they get there, what's referred to as their "Three hots and a cot." So that's obviously diametrically opposed. Those people, they're the ones that you see going through the system all the time. Then you get the middle group of people who some of them recognize they did something wrong. Some of them are mad, thinking that “The cops singled me out. There was no reason for the cop to stop me,” or that it's somebody else's fault, and those are really sometimes the hardest clients to deal with.

People are Also Prone To Deny Taking Responsibility for Having Committed an Offense

It may be I'm just using this as an example. The domestic violence client, "It wasn't my fault that I punched my wife because she got in my face." Let's use the Ray Rice example, You saw the elevator thing. She gets in his face. He punches her. Just because the wife gets in your face, that doesn't make that punch okay. Those are clients that I as an attorney hope that I can work with them to a certain extent, for them to realize that you've got to change your conduct or you're going to become like that third classification of person. If you don't become like the first classification and change your conduct, and maybe it's not after your first arrest, maybe it's after your second or third arrest, at some point in time you've got to realize, "I've got to change myself so that I don't keep coming back in the judicial system and become like the third classification of client."

Malia Law, LLC located in Cortlandt Manor, NY represents Landlords/Tenants throughout Westchester County, Putnam County and Southern Dutchess County, NY.



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