Criminal justice and fictional crime shows are among the most popular series on television. While enjoyable and interesting, these shows aren’t necessarily wholly truthful in their portrayals of how the U.S. criminal justice system works when someone is accused of and tried for a crime.
Here’s what you should know about the most common myths of crime TV shows and how a criminal defense lawyer can assist you if you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense.
Criminal investigators on television have less than one hour to solve a case, so the show’s authors must keep the plotline moving at a reasonable clip. As a result, a few stages of the criminal process condensed. Completing an investigation might take weeks, months, or potentially even years. Obtaining lab results for DNA sequencing or fingerprinting takes more than just a few hours; it could take a week or more to come back with a match, if one exists at all.
On television, investigators often discover perfectly preserved evidence, providing a suspect in the case nearly immediately. Gathering evidence of this caliber at an actual crime scene is extremely uncommon and nearly never occurs. It might take several days to thoroughly investigate and document a crime scene, and the evidence collected is frequently inconsequential.
Many shows feature crime techs editing blurry crime photographs before “enhancing” the picture so small details can be made out. While this is possible to an extent, it’s simply not feasible beyond a certain point. Most security video is low-resolution in order to save storage space and only a small percentage of the data collected can be improved.
Many older shows depict suspects that are thrown in jail and given only one phone call. In reality, however, this is impractical. What if that person isn’t at home and you need to try someone else? It isn’t a genuine rule and most jurisdictions permit defendants to make as many phone calls as are needed so long as they are not abusing the privilege.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, don’t hesitate to get the help of an experienced Pasadena criminal defense lawyer as quickly as you can. Having an attorney on your side is going to give you the best possible chance of receiving a favorable outcome. Contact Donald J. Matson today by calling (626) 600-3437.