Interviewer: Why is an arrest not a conviction?
Freddy: First of all, an arrest is not a conviction. The reason that we say that is just because you’ve been arrested for a crime you are innocent until proven guilty and that protection is afforded to you by the constitution of the United States of America.
That’s a very important distinction because in many other cultures you are guilty. They accuse you of a particular crime and then it’s incumbent upon you to be able to say, “I didn’t do this particular thing and here’s the reasons why.”
In America, you are completely innocent until proven guilty and it is the prosecution’s burden to prove you guilty of a crime, not your burden proving yourself innocent. Just because you have an arrest, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be convicted of a crime.
This is truly important. If you’re not convicted of a crime, theoretically your case could be dismissed and you would never have this on your record at all.
Interviewer: Why are people afraid that when they’re arrested they’re doomed, they’re done for, and they are already convicted? Where does this fear come from?
Freddy: I think the fear comes from the guilt they feel. People, whenever they get arrested for a crime and especially if they have been drinking, feel guilty. They think to themselves, I shouldn’t have been drinking. I knew better. I shouldn’t have gotten in the car. I shouldn’t have this argument with my boyfriend, girlfriend and drove off. I shouldn’t have got in this accident. This guilt makes them self-convict themselves immediately.
By Freddy Woods