Criminal defense attorneys protect the rights of their clients by putting prosecutors and police to the test of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt, in accordance with the United States Constitution. They are not miracle workers or magicians, however. No matter how good, how experienced, or relentless a criminal defense lawyer is, not every situation has a silver lining. Most often occurs when a client, creates facts that are just simply indefensible. This article takes a somewhat lighter than usual approach at some of things that defendants have done to hamstring their criminal defense attorneys; things which cause criminal defense attorneys to throw their hands up in despair and to say: “You can’t fix stupid.”
Lesson One: Jail Calls are Always Recorded
If you’ve ever received a phone call from someone in jail, you’ve likely heard a recording which tells you some important information:
- This call is from correctional facility;
- This call WILL BE RECORDED
- This is a collect call which is going to cost you a ton of money if you accept the charges.
Now let’s just focus on the second item – because it’s so important. Every call an inmate in a jail makes (except to his or her lawyer) WILL BE recorded. So why then do defendants in custody talk about their case on the phone to their friends and family if they know they are being recorded?
Over the years, I’ve heard (or perhaps heard of as I’d like to think (hope) my clients are smarter) people conspire to murder witnesses, talk about hiding evidence, admitting to their crimes. Why, oh why must they do that to their lawyers? The answer is simple: you can’t fix stupid.
Lesson Two: Your Cell Phone Probably Has GPS
By now, most people have smart phones. Smart phones generally contain GPS tracking software. We use it to geotag photos, to get directions, and using a host of different apps, use it to make our lives simpler. But GPS can also make a defendant’s life a lot more complicated.
Every time you make or receive a call, your phone is communicating with (pinging) a cell phone tower. These towers, and your mobile phone carrier, collect unique data that can show that your phone was, or was not in a certain place at a certain time.
So when you tell a detective that you were miles and miles away from the scene of a crime fast asleep in bed and your phone pings back to a tower roughly 100 yards away from the crime at the time was committed, your alibi is shot and so is your criminal defense attorney’s shot of working that miracle that you are praying for. Similarly, if you are going to be on the phone near a crime scene, first you should probably put the phone down and pay attention to what you’re doing, but more importantly, is that you are creating an electronic eyewitness of sorts.
Lesson Three: Big Brother Is Watching
While defendants typically look for obvious cameras in banks or other potential targets of criminal activity, they fail to realize that a lot of intersections have cameras from which police can get playback. Also, because home surveillance systems are so advanced, not to mention affordable, a lot of people have them.
When a crime is committed and there are no witnesses, police routinely go to neighboring businesses and residences to see if there is a surveillance system and if so, whether it may have recorded the crime. Surprisingly, more often than not, a very unlucky suspect unwittingly makes a cameo appearance and is caught red handed, thus foiling the would be perfect crime.
Jason Lamm Sometimes Pulls Rabbits From a Hat, but He's Not a Magician
For three decades, Jason Lamm has proven himself as one of Phoenix’s top criminal defense attorneys. He routinely defends clients charged with white collar crimes, drug trafficking offenses, violent crimes, and sex crimes. While not a miracle worker, a magician, or even a shaman who is able to fix facts that are out of his control, Jason fights hard for his clients and has delivered unparalleled results.
Personal and confidential consultations are available by contacting the Law Office of Jason Lamm at (602) 663-9100.