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How could a defense lawyer argue a case like this this?

Jacksonville, FL |

"Mark" confesses to Detective "Jones" that he had committed a stabbing. At the end of his confessing, Mark tells Jones about "George" who had committed a shooting that Jones was currently investigating. Jones sends Officer "White" to get George, who has been a big problem to police in the past. Detective White found him George sitting on a park bench, handcuffed him, put him in his cruiser, then took him into questioning which is when George admitted to the shooting. How would a defense lawyer fight this charge? Is it a matter of probable cause? Did the police have enough probable cause to go get George? Or is there some other argument the lawyer could use?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. a lawyer would need much more information to answer the question. The police can question anyone, but if that person is in custody then must be mirandized before being interrogated. People actually do give false confessions out of fear or mental illness. A confession would be tested to see if it held up to legal standards and if there is corroborating evidence. How a lawyer will argue depends upon a full investigation, speaking to the client and reviewing all the State's evidence.


  2. Your question is very difficult to answer without knowing all of the facts of the case. I would suggest you hire an attorney to evaluate your case and explain any defenses that may be available. A good defense is not always available so the attorney may advise you that the best course of action is to try for a good plea.


  3. It seems like you are asking us a law school question or a bar question with incomplete information.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice. Mr. Leroi answers questions on Avvo because he strongly believes in public service from his years as a judge, magistrate, and prosecutor. If you need to ask any follow up questions because my answer did not fully address your question, feel free to call Chris or post an additional question. Thank you.


  4. This sounds like an examination question. The answer that a professor wants from a student will be totally unlike the answer that a practicing lawyer would give. Law school deals in hypotheticals. Real lawyers do not.


  5. I agree with my colleagues that more information would be needed for an attorney to adequately respond. I fear I also agree with my colleagues regarding the possible scholastic nature of the hypothetical. But in the interest of seeking justice for George, even if his "counsel" might mot have enrolled in ethics just yet, candidly, the answer depends! Absent more facts, the following options may be available:
    1.Suppress the Confession. Were there circumstances that warrant suppression of the confession?
    2. Unlawful arrest. If the only investigatory action taken by police was to arrest George and Mark is not a Unreliable informer/tipster. (Possible lack of PC)
    3. Motion to Dismiss (depending on facts).
    4. If you can't get the Confession out and the Officers acted appropriately in investigating and arresting George, and there is Testimony from Mark...impeach him, argue that his testimony was not credible and is biased.

    Another way to win in court: "If the law is on your side, pound on the law; if the facts are on your side, pound on the facts; if neither is on your side, pound on the table."

    Jessica Michelle Rose, Esq. is criminal defense and family law attorney with Offices in Palm Beach and Broward County, Florida. Ms. Rose formerly served Palm Beach County as an Assistant State Attorney and Duval County as an Assistant Public Defender. In addition to her experience in as both prosecutor and defense attorney, Ms. Rose also has a strong foundation in family law and divorce. Answers provided are for educational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case to help you with your personal needs. Should you wish to further discuss your matter with Ms. Rose, you may contact her directly for a complementary consultation.


  6. All of the facts must be known before attempting to come up with valid defenses or perhaps motions to suppress, or even a C4 motion.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq.,


  7. To give a proper answer, an attorney needs to review discovery.

    The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. They should ask for the public defender at the next court date, or retain an experienced local criminal procedure litigation attorney to help resolve the matter.
    Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/go-to-trial-crash-the-justice-system.html?_r=0
    Not contemplated by the Framers! The Devil’s Bargain: "95 percent are resolved by plea bargains." http://shar.es/xdVIY #cjreform

    Educational purposes answer. | FACDL.org | NACDL.org | Defendme.net | twitter.com/JReganLLM | Non-privileged answer.

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