Here is a piece of the basic advice that perhaps I don’t stress enough. Maybe it is my fault that a certain Gentleman from Springfield is in so much trouble.
Arquelio Cajigas, 45 years of age and hereinafter the “Defendant”, is currently being held on $250,000 bail after pleading not guilty to various charges including heroin possession and illegal possession of a gun.
Well, that’s not too and given the fact that the prosecutors asked for $500,000 bail saying that he is a “career drug dealer.”
The Defendant’s bail request was apparently for $25,000 bail, saying his client is of limited means and cooperated fully in the police investigation.
In fact, said “cooperation” did not support the argument of limited means. In fact, the Defendant apparently told law enforcement that he lives in a shelter.
According to the Boston Herald, the police say that they found approximately $35,000 and a 9 mm handgun Tuesday in one of the apartments. At another apartment, detectives say they found 816 grams of uncut heroin, enough for 80,000 bags with a street value of $400,000 to $800,000.
These values tend to be unsupportive of a poverty argument.
It is not clear at this point what links the Defendant to these two apartments. However, the allegations as they are give us fodder to discuss the point to which I allude as well as a couple other tidbits of information.
I have explained many times that it is usually unwise for a suspect to make statements to the police as he or she is facing arrest. I have explained the reasons for this several times and, I am sure, will do so again.
Not today, though.
Today, I want to address a caveat to that advice.
I know that there are some folks out there who figure they know better than an experienced criminal defense attorney of thirty some odd years. They will figure that they know the system better and will be able to clear up what must be a misunderstanding because of their gift of the golden tongue when talking to officers.
If you are going to be one of those people, and you are going to give a statement without a lawyer, I would suggest you consider limiting yourself to the truth.
“The truth? What is the point of that?”
Well, sometimes, the truth, as they say, may well set you free. Probably not, though, which is why it is best to not make a statement. However, making a statement that is going to be shown as a demonstrable lie is basically wearing a t-shirt reading “Please take any benefit of the doubt and hide it as far away from me as possible.”
In other words, it will compound the case against you. Aside from being a felony in itself, the lie will be argued to show consciousness of guilt. It will hurt you at bail hearings and, certainly at trial.
To put it simply, you have the right to remind silent. You do not have the right to lie to law enforcement. Best to go with what you have the right to do.
One other little tidbit for you. The real issue in this case is likely going to be what evidence there is linking the Defendant to the two locations. Clearly, the Commonwealth believes it has some kind of evidence. It is not really clear, though, at this point.
This is another way in which the Defendant may have screwed himself. The defense must argue that there is no link between the Defendant and the apartments. The Commonwealth will argue that there is. It, too, must make that argument.
The evidence that the Defendant has already lied, if it is not suppressed, is not going to help balance those arguments in favor of the Defendant.
To be fair, however, if the Defendant can indicate the truth of what he said, it will help him,
Of course, wouldn’t it have been better not to have the added issue to deal with?
Incidentally, this touches upon another interesting issue about making statements which we have not addressed in awhile.
Let’s take that up tomorrow!