The first rule of being charged with a crime is do not talk about being charged with a crime. Or, the alleged crime itself.
If possible to imagine, that rule became more important this week as the Supreme Court announced its decision in Montejo v. Louisiana held that the police could question a criminal defendant who had already had a lawyer appointed to represent him in a case, about that case. So, the old rule from Michigan v. Jackson that the police cannot question someone once they have a lawyer in the case no longer applies across the board.
What does this mean?
If you have questions about how federal criminal charges are different than state criminal charges, please visit this page on Maryland federal criminal charges.
The old rule was that if you have a lawyer in a case, the police cannot question you about that case. In Montejo, the Court decided that where a man was charged with a crime, and had a lawyer appointed to represent him by the court, he did not enjoy the 6th Amendment’s protection against police interrogation until he affirmatively accepts the lawyer who has been appointed to represent him in his criminal case. Which means the sanctuary that an attorney provides from police questioning is now more narrow. Which means it is, now more than ever, important to remember the first rule of being charged with a crime – do not talk about being charged with a crime. Or the alleged crime itself. Or where you were that night.