Do you like crime and police dramas on television? A lot of people do,
and for good reason—they’re usually highly entertaining and
tell a great story. However, it’s important to recognize one important
thing: they’re TV shows, and lots of the investigation techniques
and technology they show you are slight fabrications or even blatantly
untrue representations of how criminal investigations work. Let’s
take a look at a few common myths you’ll see in the latest episodes of
A criminal investigation can take days, weeks, months, or even years in
extreme cases. Crime scenes must be thoroughly investigated for evidence,
and testing for things such as DNA or fingerprints can be a painstaking
process that stretches out over weeks, and even then most likely won’t
turn up a favorable result. However, because television shows don’t
usually have weeks to play out, the timeline of an investigation in an
episode is usually ultra-compressed to get to the end of the case before
the hour is up.
DNA and Fingerprints Solve Everything Instantly
Television shows frequently portray the collection of fingerprints and
DNA as a vital part of the initial crime scene investigation. While it’s
true that these techniques are used, the odds of finding a
clean fingerprint or bit of DNA that can be immediately identified as the killer’s
is close to zero. Likewise, the computer the FBI uses doesn’t take
a few seconds to pick out an exact match—more like a few months
when you consider there are more than 65 million prints it must search through.
Have you ever noticed that the witnesses or persons of interest who are
questioned in crime shows seem to remember everything very clearly? Do
you remember exactly where everything sat on your plate during dinner
yesterday? Exactly. The reality facing police is that they can get a lot
of eye witness statements, but most of them won’t remember much.
This can make piecing together what happened via testimony a long and
painfully arduous process that may not even yield any important information.
One Phone Call
The commonly-seen rule of an arrested individual getting one phone call
is purely a Hollywood invention and has never been an official rule anywhere.
It is well within the right of the police to treat phone calls as privileges
and they are more than authorized to take that privilege away from misbehaving
detainees. However, you are often allowed several phone calls, as you
may need to reach out to your family or a loved one to take care of things
that may be urgent (such as bringing medication to a relative in need).
Also, how else are you supposed to contact a lawyer?
When you are facing accusations of a crime, it is important to seek representation
and legal counsel from a skilled Buffalo criminal defense attorney.
The Rossi Law Firm has represented clients against a wide variety of criminal charges. Our
top-rated attorneys have earned accolades such as Super Lawyers honors,
a 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo, and an AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Call The Rossi Law Firm today at (716) 951-5040 or
contact us online and schedule a consultation with our team!