When you are interrogated by the police, you have certain protections under the constitution that prevent you from sharing potentially damaging information about your role in a crime. You can refuse to answer any questions that might be deemed incriminating. Although you are not obligated to answer the questions, the prosecutor has the right to use a possibility of immunity for you to get answers. If you are offered a chance at immunity, your Merrillville Indiana criminal defense attorney will weigh the pros and cons with you and help you understand your options before you make a decision.
Most people think that immunity provides blanket protection from prosecution. This is not true. There are two types of immunity that your Merrillville Indiana criminal defense attorney may negotiate for you. It is important that you understand the difference so that you do not make a mistake in deciding whether or not to cooperate with the prosecution. Making the wrong decision could be giving the prosecution the ammunition it needs to place you in jail.
Transactional immunity gives you protection from prosecution in the future on all aspects related to the testimony you are going to give about a crime. It is considered the most complete form of immunity available. It is the form of immunity that is most commonly depicted on television. Any crimes that you committed related to the information you share with the prosecutor are free from prosecution. For instance, if you testify about a murder, you cannot be prosecuted if you were considered an accessory after the fact.
It is important to note that if the prosecutor finds out that you committed another crime during the act you were offered immunity for and you did not divulge this, you may not be covered for the act. Using the previous example, if you also robbed the victim during the act and another person comes forward with this information, you could possibly face charges for the robbery. Your Merrillville Indiana criminal defense attorney will ensure that you provide all the information that is needed to protect yourself before the deal is complete.
Use and derivative use immunity offers less protection than transactional immunity. When you are covered by this kind of immunity, any statements that you make that are used for evidence cannot be used against you. In essence, you are afforded the same amount of coverage you would receive if you simply did not testify. If you and your Merrillville Indiana criminal defense attorney do accept this form of immunity, there is a chance that the prosecutor could still pursue charges against you if he has evidence and witnesses to support prosecution.
Your attorney may shy away from recommending this type of immunity if there is a chance that there is additional evidence out there that could surface to incriminate you. It is very important that you are completely honest with your attorney so that he can take the proper steps to protect you using all available legal options. Remember, any information that you share with your attorney is subject to attorney-client privilege so you do not have to worry about the prosecution getting information from him.
Many people believe that immunity is as it appears on television. This mistaken idea of what immunity is could cost you your freedom in the long run. It is important that you always talk with your Merrillville Indiana criminal defense attorney before making a final decision. Never allow the prosecution or police pressure you into giving statements without first discussing it with your attorney. You are afforded the right to an attorney for your own legal protection. Click here for more info