Gregory V Smith, Esq., J.D.A Top Criminal Attorney and Trial Lawyer
Martinsburg West VirginiaServing: Martinsburg- Charles Town- Berkeley Springs
Berkeley- Jefferson- Morgan
Eastern-Panhandle West Virginia
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Former Assistant Prosecutor &
Former Law Enforcement Officer
Gregory V Smith Criminal Attorney
Post Office Box 2174
Martinsburg, WV 25401
A TOP WEST VIRGINIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & TRIAL LAWYER
Gregory V Smith
Criminal Defense Attorneys
and Trial Lawyers
Experience: Assistant Prosecuting Attorney-Berkeley County
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney- Jackson County
King, Betts and Allen- Charleston
Morton-Smith and Smith-Huntington
Gregory V Smith and Assoc.-Huntington
Public Defender Services- Logan, Boone, Lincoln, Cabell, Ohio
Senior Attorney-Wayne County Public Defender Services
Related Experience: Over Ten (10) years in Law Enforcement and Corrections including Field and Supervisory Positions in City, County, State and Federal Law Enforcement.
Military Experience: United States Army Vietnam Combat Veteran with six years service
Education: A.S. Police Science Bluefield
B.S. cum laude Criminal Justice Bulefield State College
Masters of Science in Criminal Justice work Marshall University
J.D. Law Degree West Virginia University College of Law-1990
Additional Education: Honor Graduate West Virginia State Police Academy -1981
FBI School of Criminal Investigation
Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy
Glenco Ga. 1985
Affiliations: Lead Articles Editor Law Review WVU College of Law v 92
Member WVU Law Review v 91
American Bar Association
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers NORMAL
West Virginia State Bar
What are Miranda rights?
Police generally read these rights to individuals about to be questioned in custody. "You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you desire an attorney and cannot afford one, an attorney will be obtained for you before police questioning."
The Miranda rule was developed to protect the individual's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The Miranda warning ensures that people in custody realize they do not have to talk to the police and that they have the right to the presence of an attorney.
If the Miranda warning is not given before questioning, or if police continue to question a suspect after he or she indicates in any manner a desire to consult with an attorney before speaking, statements by the suspect generally are inadmissible at trial—they cannot be used against the suspect.
The Police Called or stopped by and left word for you to call them! Now What ?
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For Your Best Interests, Do Not Talk To The Police or Government Agents Alone !
Martinsburg- Charles Town and Berkeley Springs- West Virginia
Special Fee and Service Considerations for Active Duty (NG-AR) Military and their Families,as well as Our Veterens.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
How Police Interrogation Works
There are "Law & Order" addicts everywhere who think they could get a perp to confess. A little glaring, some getting in the guy's face, a revelation that his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon and voilà! He's recounting his crime. In real life, police interrogation requires more than confidence and creativity (although those qualities do help) -- interrogators are highly trained in the psychological tactics of social influence.
Getting someone to confess to a crime is not a simple task, and the fact that detectives sometimes end up with confessions from the innocent testifies to their expertise in psychological manipulation. No two interrogations are alike, but most exploit certain weaknesses in human nature. These weaknesses typically rely on the stress that results when people experience contrasting extremes, like dominance and submission, control and dependence, and the maximization and minimization of consequences. Even the most hardened criminal can end up confessing if the interrogator can find the right combination of circumstances and techniques based on the suspect's personality and experiences. In the United States, scholars estimate that somewhere between 42 percent and 55 percent of suspects confess to a crime during interrogation.
While the Supreme Court had ruled as early as 1897 against involuntary confessions, it was in 1937 that things really started to change. In the case Brown v. Mississippi, the Supreme Court threw out a "voluntary" confession that was obtained after police officers repeatedly strung a suspect up in a tree and whipped him. The Court's decision was clear: Confessions obtained by force cannot be used as evidence at trial. By the 1950s, confessions were considered involuntary not only if police beat the suspect, but also if they held a suspect for an unnecessarily extended period of time, deprived him of sleep, food, water or bathroom facilities, promised some benefit if the suspect confessed or threatened some harm if he didn't.
When the case Miranda v. Arizona reached the Supreme Court in 1966, coercive police interrogation took another blow. Ernesto Miranda had confessed to rape and kidnapping after two hours of interrogation, and the appeal to the Supreme Court alleged that Miranda was not aware of his rights to remain silent (the Fifth Amendment) and to counsel (the Sixth Amendment). The Court ruled in favor of Miranda, and the decision instituted what we've come to know as the "Miranda Rights." To safeguard against a suspect falling into an involuntary confession because he thinks he has no choice but to speak, the police must expressly, clearly and completely advise any suspect of his rights to silence and counsel before beginning an interrogation or any other attempt to get a statement from a suspect. The Miranda decision attempts to eliminate suspect ignorance as a contributing factor to involuntary confessions.
In looking for a replacement for illegal forms of coercion, police turned to fairly basic psychological techniques like the time-honored "good cop bad cop" routine, in which one detective browbeats the suspect and the other pretends to be looking out for him. People tend to trust and talk to someone they perceive as their protector. Another basic technique is maximization, in which the police try to scare the suspect into talking by telling him all of the horrible things he'll face if he's convicted of the crime in a court of law. Fear tends to make people talk. For a while, police tried such things as polygraphs to determine if the suspect was being deceptive, but polygraphs and polygraph training are expensive, and the results are almost never admissible in court. But some polygraph analysts, including a man named John Reid, began noticing that subjects exhibited certain outward, consistent physical signs that coincided with the polygraph's determination of untruthfulness. Reid went on to develop a non-machine-based system of interrogation based on specific types of questions and answers that uncover weaknesses the interrogator can use against a suspect to obtain a confession. Reid's "Nine Steps" of psychological manipulation is one of the most popular interrogation systems in the United States today.
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The information included on this Website is not legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is formed by the use of any information found on this Website, or the submission of information via any form on this Website. The statements included in this Website are intended to provide you a basic background of the criminal process. Criminal laws are state specific and are constantly changing. Any information on this website should not be relied upon without consulting an attorney who is licensed to practice in the jurisdiction of your legal matter. Statements on this Website only provide educational information, it does not constitute any guarantee or prediction to the outcome of your case.
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Special Fee and Service Considerations
for Active Duty (NG-AR) Military
and their Families,
as well as Our Veterens.
For- Staff. Sgt. USAF- MTI (Military Training Instructor [Drill Sgt.]) - O.T.S to 2.Lt. Stephen A. Smith , USAF, death from drowning off the coast of Japan in service to his country. 11 years active duty- R.I.P. Much Loved Son 01-18-82 to 04-10-10
For- Staff. SGT. USAF- MTI (Military Training Instructor [Drill Sgt.]) Matthew D. Smith, USAF/ T0- Staff. SGT. US Army/Inf. 10th Mountain Div. Iraq , 16 years active duty-Now ANG-Mil. Dis. D.C.-
and all those serving and that have served for our country and our rights!
Gregory V Smith Criminal Attorney
Post Office Box 2174
Martinsburg, WV 25401