Seems simple enough, but the majority of clients that call me with a legal issue do so AFTER they have already spoken to the police, made a statement, or even given a recorded interview. This can seriously damage their defense – if you the police are investigating a crime and they either tell you that you are a suspect, you think you may have done something illegal, or you have any reason to think you might be suspected of doing anything illegal – DO NOT SPEAK TO THE POLICE AND DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.
As you probably already know, the right to remain silent is an important right. The 5th Amendment to the US Constitution acknowledges the right not to be compelled to offer evidence against yourself. The “Miranda” rights we are all familiar with hearing from television is a reflection of the Supreme Court recognizing this very important right. What you don’t say can’t hurt you. If you find yourself in a situation where the police want yo question you or have you make a statement, you need to calmly, but assertively, inform the officer (or agent, investigator, etc) …
- You will not be making any statement
- You will not be answering any questions
- If you are under arrest, you want to speak to a lawyer immediately.
Many people are intimidated when the police contact them and ask them to come in and answer questions or make a statement. Make sure you listen carefully to what the officer tells you – they are REQUESTING that you make a statement or answer questions. They will likely want you to sign something waiving the important rights I mentioned earlier. DO NOT DO IT.
One final important caveat is that you must ASSERT your right to remain silent if you are arrested. Simply staying quiet is not enough. If the police are asking you questions, you need to state simply “I am using my right to remain silent,” or something to that effect. Unfortunately, some cases have required this type of assertion to invoke all of your 5th amendment protections. See Salinas v. Texas, 133 S.Ct. 2174 (2013)
Before you even consider talking to the police, contact attorney Tristan LeGrande for a free consultation. If you have already been charged with a crime, don’t leave it up to chance! Hire an aggressive attorney with a track record of success!
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