Everyone who has studied civics or watched a crime movie or TV show has at least a basic familiarity with Miranda rights. When police make an arrest, they are to tell the suspect that they have the right to an attorney and a right to remain silent and refuse to answer law enforcement’s questions. In most situations, it makes sense to exercise these rights.
A Tennessee man recently arrested on charges of credit card data theft would have been wise to exercise his Mirada rights rather than talking to the press about the allegations he and two other men face.
A Nashville TV reporter contacted the 29-year-old after his arrest and persuaded him to talk about the evidence in his case. The reporter also got one of the two Romanian nationals he was arrested with to open up a bit as well. The three men are accused of placing so-called skimmers on credit card reading devices in the Nashville area in order to steal the cards’ data.
The news report states that “upon their arrest, one of the Romanian nationals said they came to America to steal from Americans because it is a victimless crime.” Whether the statement is due to miscommunication or is an admission of wrongdoing, it serves no one well but the reporter in search of a story.
The American didn’t fare much better. When asked by the reporter if the data theft allegation is true, the man replied, “That is the allegation, but we were not doing anything when we got caught.”
He also made dubious remarks about his Romanian companions, saying “I have only seen it in the movies and didn’t realize it was true until I met these guys. It was immaculate. There are people walking around making $1 million in a week.”
We don’t know if the charges against the men are accurate or not, but they certainly did themselves no favors by speaking to a reporter rather than a criminal defense attorney who would almost certainly have counseled them to decline to speak to the media about the very serious allegations.