Interviewer: What misconceptions in general do you see clients have about the criminal process that you have to explain to them?
The Criminal Justice System Moves at Its Own Pace and a Criminal Case Is Usually Not Resolved Quickly
Ben Doscher: Many people mistakenly assume that the case will be resolved very quickly. Just because they made a statement without the Miranda Rights, they immediately assume if the statement gets thrown out, the case is going to get thrown out, as well.
The Police Do Make Misleading Statements in Order to Procure a Confession
Ben Doscher: Many clients believe they are legally compelled to always answer police questions and that the police are always right, and the police never lie.
Interviewer: Are the police allowed to lie?
Ben Doscher: Yes, and they often do.
Criminal Cases Often Take Six Months, at the Minimum, to Resolve
Interviewer: How long will a criminal case take to resolve if it goes to trial or if it doesn’t go to trial?
Ben Doscher: Cases take six to eight months to a year usually to resolve. Usually, the process is never resolved in less than six months.
Interviewer: Even the most minor offense will take six months?
You Will Typically Have to Appear in Court Multiple Times
Ben Doscher: Yes definitely. Yes, that’s another common misconception. People think it’ll be over the first time they go to court, but that never happens. Once you are in the system, things just drag on.
Being a “Good” Person Is Not Enough to Have Your Criminal Case Dismissed
Interviewer: How about if the person says, “I’m basically a good person and this should be no big deal. Why are they wasting time prosecuting me?” Does the court care about a person’s character?
Ben Doscher: They think that you broke the law and it is their job to prosecute you. It’s as simple as that really.
Interviewer: Do people ever tell you that? Why are they bothering me?
Ben Doscher: Yes, they do. They do and I think they’re not being singled out in particular. It’s just that’s the police’s job, despite whatever you do and what I do. They may think that they’re doing the right thing.
Character Can Count in Determining Bail and a Plea Bargain but Does Not Factor in during a Trial
Interviewer: How about a person’s character and their status in the community? Does that help their case if they have children or are a prominent member of the community?
Ben Doscher: It can help on bail status and sometimes working on a plea bargain, but it’s not going to help you if you go to trial. Everything’s based on facts on what actually occurred at that time and place. It doesn’t matter if you’re the President or if you work at McDonald’s.