Although there have been some policy amendments regarding priorities of law enforcement, the delay in initial court hearings or arraignments has provided another opportunity for law enforcement to come into contact with suspects facing Vermont or Massachusetts criminal charges prior to the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel taking full effect.
What is important to consider is that even if a suspect was given a citation for a court date that is now postponed, law enforcement have been tasked with reissuing criminal citations to all suspects that have already been charged. For a citation or summons to be effective law enforcement must come into personal contact with the suspect to hand deliver the citation. The only way to prevent this in-person interaction is for an attorney to accept service for their client.
A substantial law enforcement tactic is for officers to approach suspects when they least expect it. Engaging in these types of interactions often will induce a longer conversation that can lead to incriminating statements being made. Officers can use these statements, which are often recorded, to supplement their affidavits that they fill with the Court to support their issuance of criminal charges.
It is important, even in these difficult times, for attorneys to enter their appearance for a suspect well before the initial hearing in any Massachusetts or Vermont criminal proceeding. Early representation allows the attorney to drive a wedge between the suspect and law enforcement and assert a suspects 6th Amendment to Counsel
Chadwick and Spensley PLLC is available on an urgent basis for all its clients. If you are being contacted by the police visit the NEED HELP NOW page to be put into contact with one of our Vermont or Massachusetts attorneys.