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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fatal Crash Bus Driver and The Right to Remain Silent

The driver of the casino bus that crashed last Saturday morning, killing 15 (with others critically injured), is expected to be interviewed by investigators probing the causes of the crash as soon as today.

This is not a smart move.  Another report states that a criminal investigation is underway and the driver, Ophadell Williams, must be presumed to be a possible suspect.  Given his potential -- or likely -- criminal jeopardy (which is heightened by his prior felony convictions including one for manslaughter), one wonders about the quality of legal advice Williams is getting if he is being advised by his own lawyers to talk to investigators.

My point is not to defend Williams or his actions (whatever they were).  The point is that someone under criminal investigation should very carefully consider the potential to have any and all statements used against him, and that the jeopardy in a criminal investigation can be very high.  The fact that Williams is a repeat felon and that multiple fatalities were sustained only heighten the risk for Williams.

Eric Dixon is a New York investigative lawyer. 


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