The recent developments in the Steven Avery case have been making headlines all over the country with the recent overturning of the conviction of Brendan Dassey. If there is one thing to learn from everything they've revealed about the investigation and interrogation that led to the original conviction, it's just how important it is to have a lawyer before any interaction with the police. As discussed in a previous blog post about this case, a lawyer is often the best chance a member of the public has to ensure that they do not accidentally incriminate themselves during an investigation.
Police Procedure And The importance Of A Legal Advocate
U.S. Magistrate William Duffin in Milwaukee overturned Brendan Dassey's conviction on Friday. The Chicago Tribune quoted him during his discussion of the decision as saying, "The investigators did not have any ill motive, but rather an intentional and concerted effort to trick Dassey into confessing." These tactics are by no means new, or even dishonest on the part of the investigating officers. However, in this case Duffin noted a number of other factors, including Dassey's mental capacity, that contributed to making the confession inadequate from a legal standpoint.
Dassey believed the assurances given to him by police, even though they did not align with reality, and ended up implicating himself without seeking or receiving legal representation. The state still has a chance to appeal this latest development or even retry Dassey if they believe there is sufficient evidence without his confession. This overturning of the conviction came after a previous appeal by Brendan Dassey's legal team had failed. However, Duffin called the failure an "unreasonable application of Federal Law" during his remarks.
Legal Aid During Police Interviews
These kinds of tactics are common during interrogation. Police officers and detectives are expert interviewers and have a great deal of control over the situation that they leverage to their advantage. Over the course of several hours, even an innocent person can easily make remarks that are inconsistent and cause themselves major legal difficulties further down the line. That is why adequate legal representation is essential at all times during interactions with law enforcement and why everyone should remember to exercise their right to remain silent.
A legal advocate will put a civilian on a far more equal footing and help to ensure that a casual remark does not accidentally lead to years of legal difficulty. At the law office of Phillip A. Linder, we encourage to invoke your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. We can take immediate action to protect you during police questioning and investigation if you are accused of a crime.