The criminal chamber reiterates its position in respect of the cancellation of police custody without the assistance of a lawyer.
In this decision of 18 January 2011, the supreme Court of appeal is seised of an appeal of the attorney general following the pronouncement of the nullity of the police custody by the court of appeal of Angers for lack of effective assistance of counsel. A man was arrested and placed in a cell sobering up and then his rights of person in custody were reported. It was heard by the police before seeing a lawyer, and then sentenced in the first instance for a series of offences related to his driving under the influence of alcohol. The court of appeal, after having cancelled the custody, confirmed the conviction no act having been ordered, after the examination of the person concerned. The criminal chamber to reject the appeal, it takes the exact terms of the expected from his previous judgment : “if it is wrong that the court of appeal has pronounced the nullity of the police custody before the entry into force of the act to, in accordance with the decision of the constitutional Council of July 30, 2010, to change the legal regime of custody or, in the absence of this act, before July 1, 2011, the judgment does not incur the censure when it had to, the only consequence is that the acts cancelled have not been evidence based the determination of guilt of the accused “.
Thus, although the police custody without the assistance of a lawyer could not be cancelled before 1 July 2011, the evidence gathered during the interrogation of the person concerned who has not had access to a lawyer may not constitute sufficient evidence on which to base his conviction.
The culture of confession is finished….at least until the 1st of July 2011 !