Why I Instruct Clients Not To Talk To The Police!

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I am often asked by clients, “Should I speak to the Police?” or “Would it help if I spoke to the Police?”  My answer is almost unequivocally HELL NO!  During jury selection I am often confronted with a number of potential jurors who expressly do not approve of the Fifth Amendment.  I have heard statements such as “if your client didn’t do it, he should get up there and tell us so”, “If I was charged with a crime I didn’t commit, I sure would not sit there and be quiet”, and the list goes on and on.

It goes without saying that most law enforcement officials, potential jurors, and John Q. Public himself, do not understand why it is arguably malpractice to have a client speak to the police.  Too many persons, who would readily identify themselves as “PRO-LAW” simultaneously want to reject and find fault with one of our nation’s most important laws, and one of our most important rights as individuals.  It is undisputed that too many law abiding citizens believe that a suspect who chooses to exercises his or her 5th Amendment Right not to speak to the police is demonstrating an indicia of guilt; has the mind of a guilty conscience; is an obstructionist; is a criminal.

I hope this lecture changes your mind about that!

From Professor James Duane!

Murder Charges Dropped

Murder charges are formally dropped against Anthony’s client Andrew Lorenzana!

From the Chronicle Telegram:

Murder charges dropped in Lorain shooting

ELYRIA — Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped murder charges against two Lorain men accused in a February shooting even though police say they remain suspects in the case.

Avery Taylor, 19, and Andrew Lorenzana, 20, had been accused of gunning down Christopher Lundberg, 35, on Feb. 3 near the intersection of West 29th Street and Ashland Avenue in Lorain in what police described as a drug buy gone bad. Lundberg died the next day from his wounds.

The pair was arrested later that day and charged with murder in Lorain Municipal Court after Lundberg died. They agreed to waive preliminary hearings, which would have forced prosecutors to lay out some of the evidence against them, in exchange for $50,000 bonds. Their case was sent to county prosecutors to present to a grand jury, but that never happened.

Lorain police Sgt. Mark Carpentiere said Lorenzana and Taylor are still suspects and the case remains under investigation. Prosecutors did not return calls seeking comment.

Taylor’s attorney, Mike Camera, said his client was pleased by the decision to drop the charges against him, but is aware that he could be charged again.

“I believe they dismissed the case to give themselves more time to gather evidence,” Camera said.

Taylor and Lorenzana have both faced additional criminal charges since they were released on bond earlier this year. Both were on GPS monitoring devices when they were accused of taking part in a May 10 home invasion in which a Sheffield Township woman told police she was held at gunpoint while robbers searched her house for crack cocaine and guns.

The woman later identified Taylor and Lorenzana as the robbers, but the GPS device he was wearing cleared Lorenzana a few days later when it showed he was across town at the time of the robbery.

During trial earlier this year, Taylor’s GPS device showed him near the house, but never showed him inside the building. It took a jury an hour to clear him of charges in that case.

Both Taylor and Lorenzana also are facing unrelated misdemeanor charges in Lorain Municipal Court.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

Appearing on “Best Defense” as Guest of Tru TV’s Ron Kuby!

On Friday October 23, 2009, Anthony again appeared live on Tru TV’s (f.k.a. Court TV) “Best Defense” program as a guest of Internationally reknown Trial Lawyer Ron Kuby.  Rich discussed several aspects of an appeal  pending in the Ohio Supreme Court captioned State v. Speer in which he acted as Trial Counsel.  Speer was found not guilty of Aggravated Murder and Murder but was convicted of lesser included offenses.  Those convictions were later overturned.  Videos will be posted soon!

This was the third time Anthony appeared live as a guest analyst and commentator on Court TV.  He was previously the guest of Ashleigh Banfield on “Open Court” and was also invited to speak at length with Jami Floyd.

No Jail for Despondent “Michael Jackson” Fan!

On October 5, 2009 Attorney J. Anthony Rich kept client Amanda Jarvis out of jail and was able to convince the government to reduce the Arson charges against her in a local case that received national attention.  Rich claimed the case against his client was “unfair to her and super sensationalized” due to an “attempt to sell papers or garner website hits on a relatively quiet night.”

Rich explained in open court that the only evidence a jury would believe at trial was that his client did in fact panic after she ashed her cigarette in the trash can which accidentally ignited some of the paper inside.  Rich stated his client was guilty of smoking in a public place, not arson.  “Amanda has never been in trouble before, and to put her and her family through this is wrong”.  Rich stressed Jarvis cooperated with Police and admitted to being intoxicated.  Rich claims that if needed he would have petitioned the Court to suppress his client’s statements to police as her cooperation was their only evidence.  “There were no eyewitnesses”, Rich stated, “just Amanda’s cooperation”.

Rich stated he was upset when informed by other lawyers that when “Michael Jackson Arson Lorain” is googled, hundreds of media reports and blogs of the initial incident come up, but yet no news entity ever attempted to get to the truth of the actual incident.  “She’s not even a fan of Michael Jackson, she’s a Bowie fan, but she beat it, it’s a thriller”.

Original Chronicle Telegram Report

Anthony asked to Defend Young Man in “Emeril” Case!

On June 25, 2009, Attorney  J. Anthony Rich, was requested by the State to defend one of the four young men accused of burglarizing the home of the local Honorable Judge David A. Basinski, while his wife was at home.  Rich represents William Q. Brown-Nettles.

The case garnered national attention when Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse learned the occupant of the home “bammed” Rich’s client with one of his signature sauce pans.  Lagasse sent her a new set of cookware.

A trial date has not been set.