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By: Law Offices of Mace J. Yampolsky

What Common Police Errors Could Benefit Me in a Criminal Case?

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Police make mistakes, just like all of us; however, when they do, you could suffer undue consequences and pain caused by a false arrest, an erroneous criminal charge, and much more.

These errors, usually in the capable hands of a criminal defense lawyer, seriously jeopardize the state’s case against you. Using these errors made during your arrest, your experienced legal defense team could get your charges dismissed or mitigated to a less severe offense.

In other instances, the police’s mistakes during their arrest and investigation could result in you being falsely accused of a crime you did not even commit.

Some of the most common police errors that can benefit your defense are:

  • Failing to secure the crime scene properly – It’s always vital that the police properly secure the crime scene so that no one, in any way, can tamper with or otherwise interfere with the evidence. If they don’t secure the location, then;
    • Crucial evidence could be interfered with.
    • Misleading fingerprints, hair, footprints, and other evidence could be introduced to the scene.
    • Vital evidence could be erased or smudged by their actions, thus making it impossible to correctly identify who may have committed the crime.
  • Collecting evidence improperly  – When the police gather evidence, they are required to properly secure and package it to avoid problems with it being contaminated, lost, or damaged. If they fail to do this diligently, tests could be misleading and result in the inability to prove your innocence or even charge you with a criminal act.
  • Not Maintaining the “chain of custody” – This is a critical part of the authority’s investigation procedure, and the police must maintain a proper “chain of custody” of any evidence. This chain of custody starts from when the evidence is collected to when it is presented to the court and used against you in court hearings. If the police make errors during the chain of custody, your lawyer will likely find out, and then the integrity of the evidence can be questioned and possibly used in your defense.
  • Not Mirandaizing you correctly or violating your constitutional rights – The police must give you your Miranda rights and warnings when you are taken into custody. If the police do not do this exactly as they should, their entire case may be jeopardized.

The above are only a few examples of what your knowledgeable, aggressive Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer will look for. If police errors are uncovered, you can be assured that your lawyer will use these errors to benefit your case directly.

What May Occur if I Am Falsely Accused In a Police Report?

Nevada law is stringent on this matter, and if anyone falsely makes a police report against you, they could be guilty of a crime.  Any false reporting to law enforcement that you have committed a crime will trigger law enforcement to conduct a criminal investigation or a police internal investigation.

It also doesn’t matter that the false report was made orally, over the phone, or through writing or electronic communication. Sure, Las Vegas and Nevada laws apply immediately when the report is made to police officers, sheriffs or deputies, district attorneys, or any member of the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

Contact your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer immediately if you feel that a false police report was made against you. They will investigate the matter thoroughly, and if it’s true, the person who made the report will be held accountable.

Making a false police report in Nevada is commonly a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months in jail and substantial fines.

What Can I Do If the Police Report Was Incorrect or Inaccurate?

A poorly written or inaccurate police report could cause the investigating detective to spend more time and effort to solve, or dismiss, a case and inflict stress on you, your family, and the taxpayer’s money.

Mistakes of the facts of your case usually include spelling errors, mistranscribed social security or phone numbers, confusion about details of the crime committed, etc. Some mistakes can be corrected by amending the report if you (or your lawyer) can provide officers with documentation proving their error. They will file an amended report correcting the mistake.

There are cases in which considerable mistakes of pertinent facts were included, such as whether you own the home or vehicle involved in the crime, and more.

Mistakes of Nevada laws also occur and could result in your charge being inappropriate and incorrect.

If you, or your lawyer, find that pertinent information in the police report is incorrect, then this must be brought up to the police or the prosecutors. This is a critical area, and obtaining the help of a thorough, detail-oriented criminal defense lawyer will be invaluable in correcting the situation.

To Make Sure Everything is Correct; Can I Record the Police in Nevada?

The simple legal answer is yes, you can. Nevada law does allow you to record the police and their actions. However, you must be in a public space, disclose to them that you are recording,  and not interfere with what they are doing.

If you are arrested and interviewed, you also have the right to record your interview. However, it’s a common occurrence that police departments have audio and video cameras in their interview rooms, and all interviews must be recorded.

If you are detained and feel you could be arrested and charged, it may be best to have someone record you at the scene. You, most likely, may not be able to do this yourself, but you could enlist the help of another.

By doing this, within Nevada’s legal parameters, your criminal defense lawyer may review the recording and uncover mistakes, errors, and omissions in your arrest, etc. This may help your lawyer considerably in pointing out errors that could benefit your defense.

I Feel That Errors Were Made in My Case; How Should I Proceed?

Unfortunately but true, police and other law enforcement officials can make mistakes when detaining you during your arrest or the investigation of your “alleged” crime. Suppose you have been charged with any criminal offense in Las Vegas and feel errors have been made in your case. In that case, it’s critical that you consult with a local, aggressive, and winning trusted legal counsel for defense in criminal matters as soon as possible.

The details of your arrest and the basis on which you’ve been charged must be done following strict Nevada legal protocols. If errors have been made or specific “steps” omitted, your lawyer may effectively use these errors on your behalf. Remember, your rights and freedom may be on the line; you must immediately obtain capable, aggressive legal representation.