Things to Consider While Making a Statement

Things to Consider While Expressing
Things to Consider While Making a Statement

Statements are statements taken by law enforcement or the public prosecutor's office during the investigation or prosecution phase to clarify the suspicion of crime. The person giving the statement may have the titles of the accused (person who is suspected of crime) or witness (person who witnessed the events in the first degree).

As we have just mentioned, the authority to take statements has been vested in various public officials. However, the principal officer is the public prosecutor. The police are not authorized to take statements while they are at the prosecution stage. In addition, law enforcement officers do not have the authority to take statements for individuals who have not completed the age of 18.

As a rule, the call for testimony is made on a written notification sheet. However, in some special cases, a decision to be brought by force or arrest may be issued. If the person called to testify does not come or if there is a suspicion of escape, a decision to be brought by force is issued. It should be noted that in practice, the procedures of being called from the police station to testify by phone are applied. Because it is easier to reach the person called by phone. In this case, you do not have to comply with the call. However, in order to make things easier, it would be better to answer the call. It will also create a better opinion of the law enforcement/prosecutor about your situation.

Every citizen has had to testify at least once in his life for various reasons. Most of the time, citizens are worried and undecided about what to do after receiving the calling paper. In this article, I was called to testify, what should I do? We will answer questions such as: You can look at criminal law in general here:

  1. Do not be indifferent to the sent call invitation!

As a witness or accused, you may be called to testify. In this case, you must respond to the invitation. It would be better for you to testify on the day you are summoned or even at the time you are called. If it is not possible for you to go that day for various reasons, you should find out whether it is appropriate to come a few days later.

Not responding to the invitation or not going to the interview will cause you to be taken away by force. Even if you are a witness, a decision to bring in force may be issued, as your statement will be used to illuminate a suspicious event. The decision to be brought by force can be issued by the public prosecutor's office. If you remain indifferent to the call, it is possible for you to be brought by force even on the same day.

  1. Find out who is calling you and his duty!

Invitation to testify can be made in writing with the notification of the call or orally over the phone. If the written notification has the necessary signatures and seals on the paper, there will be no problem anyway. However, in case of a phone call, you may be uncertain about the identity of the caller. This is why nowadays, as there are increasing cases of fraud, you should ask and find out the identity of the caller (first name, last name) and their role.

It should be noted that in case of telephone calls, public officials may forget to provide various details due to their workload. For example, he may have forgotten to tell you which police station or which unit of the police station you should come to to make a statement. In such cases, before the phone hangs up, you should ask where exactly you are going to give the statement and about what.

  1. Even If You Have The Right To Be Silent, You Should Avoid Using It!

The right to remain silent is a widely spoken and well-known right. It is natural for a person to remain silent while giving a statement or to avoid giving a statement for various reasons. No one may be forced to speak or be compelled to make statements against himself. The right to remain silent is a constitutionally protected right.

Although the right to remain silent is considered sacred and protected, exercising the right to remain silent in practice may cause individuals to face various adversities. For example, the law enforcement or the public prosecutor may disregard your statement and have you be called back to testify later. Or, the statement you are summoned as a defendant can be used against you by the court judge at the prosecution stage. Because criminal judges have limited discretion in determining the amount of punishment. You may lose the large penalty reductions you will gain due to good behavior due to silence.

It should be emphasized that the right to remain silent should not be understood as not going to testify. As we mentioned above, the obligation to make a statement is an irrevocable obligation for both the witness and the accused. Therefore, failing to testify by saying that I am exercising the right to remain silent may result in a decision to be brought by force.

  1. Remember that what you say can be used as evidence against you!

Before you start to testify, the public officials you will testify are obliged to inform you about certain issues. One of them is that your statement can be used as evidence against you. However, in some cases, it is possible for the officer to forget this reminder. For this reason, you should not forget that what you say can be used as evidence against you while going to the deposition. You should shape your words accordingly and identify the discourses you should avoid.

For example, insulting the officer during the deposition may result in a different criminal case being filed against you. In this case, you will not be able to escape from the penalty, since the statement is an official document.

  1. At least verbally state all the evidence that comes to your mind!

The officer in charge of taking your statement reminds you that you have the opportunity to present evidence and is obliged to take the evidence you will present. However, you may not have been able to collect the evidence due to the rapid development of events. In such cases, at least, it will be in your best interest to explain the points that you will use as evidence. For example, to prove that you were not at the scene at that time, you could say that you were at a cafe and that you could bring the security camera footage of the cafe. It is possible for you to bring the evidence later or to specify the evidence that you did not present at the deposition stage. However, specifying the types of evidence will create a positive profile for the judges and prosecutors reading your statement. This may also be effective in reducing your sentence or making a decision not to prosecute. 

  1. If You Are Testing As A Witness, You Should Know That False Statement Is A Crime! 

It is not regulated as a crime for the defendants to make false statements while giving their testimony. The reason for this is to prevent the restriction of the right of defense. However, many authors argue that the false statement of the accused should be a crime. In addition, the accused who make false statements will draw a bad profile before the judge and will prevent the punishment from being reduced. Because judges have discretion in determining the amount of punishment.

The right to remain silent can still be exercised in the testimony given as a witness. However, we must emphasize that making false statements constitutes a crime for witnesses. In accordance with Article 272 of the Turkish Penal Code, the sentences to be imposed can be determined from 4 months to 4 years under various conditions. Not only making false statements, but also describing the truth incompletely will result in the crime of perjury.

We must state that the statements taken by the law enforcement officers from the witnesses are not in the nature of witness statements. Therefore, false statements given to law enforcement will not constitute a crime within the meaning of TCK 272. 

  1. If You Are Defendant, You Have The Right To Change Your Statement Later!

Although giving a statement is subject to strict rules, it is possible to change the statement later. However, changing the statement in intense contradiction with each other can cause a negative profile about you. Although the defendants' change of expression does not bring a criminal liability, it may eliminate the reasons for discretionary reduction.

If the witnesses change their statements later, it may result in various sanctions. The sanction to be applied will undoubtedly be the penalty for perjury. However, it is possible to reduce the penalty for perjury. You can review our article to get detailed information about these situations.

  1. Don't try to make things look different than they really are!

It is common for events to be misrepresented when giving statements. For example, the person making the statement may say that he does not know what he knows or sees things differently. As explained above, such cases may cause criminal liability, and if you are the accused, they may adversely affect the court's opinion. Using vague statements may still have consequences against you. It would be correct to avoid ambiguous expressions in order to avoid misunderstandings and different understanding of events.

  1. Don't Sign Your Statement Without Rereading It!

Statements taken outside of court must be signed. In court, your signature is not required, as your words will be recorded one-to-one under the supervision of the judge.

In particular, the statements you give to law enforcement will be printed out and signed by you. In this case, you should definitely read the statement given to you. It may be that your statements were not understood by the officer or that you may have unintentionally made false statements. In the future, you may face big problems because of your signature. Especially if you testify as a witness, you are likely to be caught in the middle of various lawsuits such as criminal proceedings and compensation cases.

If the statements to be taken before the judge are ambiguous, the judge will ask you various questions to clarify the situation. It is possible to clarify the incomprehensible parts with the answers to the questions asked.

  1. You Should Know That Getting Attorney Support Is Vital!

We should state that you will experience serious problems, especially if you are called to testify as a defendant. A criminal investigation opened against you may result in the restriction of the right to freedom. The penalty you receive will be recorded in your criminal record, even if it is a small penalty with the possibility of deferment. Therefore, your criminal record will cause problems in all the jobs and social relations you will enter in the rest of your life. If you have a job, it may cause your job to end and your education life to end. For detailed information about the consequences of being punished, you can review our article.

As we explained above, you may face heavy sanctions as a result of the investigation carried out by the public prosecutor's office. The punishment you will receive will vary according to the attitude you will show from the moment of deposition. Therefore, it would be best to get the support of a criminal lawyer who is an expert in his field.

Also, when you testify, you are most likely to use contradictory statements. Because, most of the time, it is not possible to act calmly while giving a statement as a defendant. Since the contradictory statements you give may constitute evidence against you, the help of an expert lawyer should be sought.

Günceleme: 01/12/2022 10:28

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