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The popularity of crime dramas in the U.S. has taught Americans a lot about the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, some of those teachings are incorrect. Whether from television shows or other sources, there are many myths about the justice system that are accepted as fact. 

Believing in misconceptions about the law in South Carolina could end up getting you into legal hot water. If you or someone you care about has been arrested or needs the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in criminal law, it’s important to know what’s truth and what is fiction in the U.S. justice system. 

You Always Have the Protection of the Miranda Rights

Many people believe that the police are obligated to read you your Miranda rights anytime they speak with you. This misconception leads some individuals to feel it’s safe to answer questions without an attorney present.

The Miranda rights are read to a person only when they are being taken into police custody. Conversations or official interviews at the police station are still admissible in court even without being warned of your rights. 

Whether you are innocent or may have been involved in a criminal act, the best option is to request that an attorney be present for any questioning. 

No Search Warrant Means No Admissible Evidence

All U.S. citizens are protected from unreasonable search and seizure, thanks to the Fourth Amendment. However, there are many times when police can collect evidence without a warrant.

Police officers can search any vehicle during a routine traffic stop if they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed in South Carolina. Also, any evidence that is in plain sight of a police officer can be seized. 

For example, if an officer comes to your front door for any reason and sees illegal drugs spread out on the coffee table, they can be taken and used as evidence. 

Some form of the Terry stop law — also known as stop and frisk — is legal in every state. If a police officer suspects you are involved in illegal activity, they may be able to frisk you and use any illegal materials as evidence. 

You Can’t Be Convicted if Police Lie

The only time police officers are obligated to tell the truth is when they are in a court of law. Police can use deception while they are conducting interviews and investigations. However, if a citizen lies to the police, it is considered to be a crime. 

You Don’t Need an Attorney if You’re Innocent

The American justice system is often considered to be one of the fairest systems in the world, but it is not perfect. Innocent people are found guilty of crimes they didn’t commit every day. 

There is often a convincing trail of facts and evidence to justify the conviction in these cases, including eyewitnesses. However, experts estimate that nearly one-third of eyewitnesses are mistaken. 

It is your right to have legal counsel by your side during any type of police questioning. Waving that right because you know you are innocent or because you believe the police have made some kind of mistake is an error that could cost you your freedom. 

Find a Criminal Defense Attorney You Can Trust

With an experienced attorney by your side, you don’t have to worry about separating fact from fiction when it comes to the justice system. No matter the circumstances of your case, finding a criminal defense attorney you can trust is vital.

If you’ve been arrested for a violent or drug-related crime in Spartanburg, SC, turn to the Law Office of Mo Abusaft. Our seasoned team can protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.