Morristown fans of police dramas on television are used to hearing suspects told that they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say can be used against them in court. And, of course, they have the right to an attorney. These are important rights to understand and exercise when facing accusations by police, as officers are unlikely to stop and coach a suspect in the middle of questioning as to the serious consequences of anything they might say.
Recently a woman in her early twenties became the focus of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in a theft case. She was accused of stealing over $30,000 from the pharmacy where she worked by printing bogus MoneyGram orders for herself without actually putting any money in the cash register to pay for them. Her boss initially accused her of the theft, threatening her with termination if she did not confess and return the money. He eventually fired her anyway, then called police.
Police claim to have obtained the young woman’s bank records via subpoena, which allegedly showed large sums of MoneyGram deposits. When questioned, she confessed to a lone theft crime, but denied further accusations. Then, when police produced their supposed bank account evidence, she reportedly did confess to all of the theft charges.
For defendants in this situation, it is common to feel intimidated and even afraid. Morris County police know this and use it to press their advantage, eliciting confessions to whatever version of the story they prefer. But defendants have the right to refuse to participate in such questioning altogether, regardless of what purported evidence police try to use to confront them. If they do want to speak with police, they have the right to do so with a criminal defense professional on their side.