Criminal defense attorneys are asked to represent clients charged with all sorts of crimes. In certain cases, the mere presence of an attorney can prevent individuals from getting into more trouble than they already are in.
For example, a woman has been arrested during the past month in Nassau County for the second time for alleged prostitution. Though repeat arrests for such an allegation are common, what was unusual about this criminal arrest was that the woman allegedly propositioned an undercover police officer from the hot dog vending truck.
The police officer involved in the arrest claimed the woman offered to engage with him in a sexual act for an undetermined amount of money. The officer then claims that the woman drove her hot dog truck to a hotel where she was supposed to meet up with the officer.
The woman denied the allegations and told the judge: “I’m not pleading guilty to being a prostitute. I’m pleading guilty to being a stripper.” The judge ruled she was guilty of prostitution in any case and she was sentenced to jail.
Though we don’t know the full circumstances as to what occurred here, it probably would have been better had the woman spoken to her attorney before making any statements to police officers or to the court. Though it’s debatable that, even if she was guilty, the woman deserved jail-time, the off-the-cuff statements that she made to the court probably did not make matters better.
It is up to the prosecutors and arresting officers to prove what occurred. Individuals arrested are allowed to speak to attorneys before making statements to officials precisely because individuals tend to be emotional and say the wrong thing immediately after an arrest. Having an attorney present can allow for cooler heads to prevail.
Source: Fox NY, “‘Hot dog hooker’ arrested again for prostitution,” May 26, 2013