This is the first of a continuing series of blog posts on your constitutional rights in the criminal context.
Today’s topic: The Right to Remain Silent.
You have the right to remain silent. How I wish many of my clients had listened to these words before they were arrested and questioned by law enforcement. Most criminal cases are built on the foundation of admissions and confessions made by criminal suspects. Without those statements many cases could not be prosecuted.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person shall be required to answer any questions or make any statements which will subject him to incrimination. When you are approached or stopped by law enforcement and questioned the best strategy is to simply inform the officer that you do not wish to make any statements until you have the chance to consult with an attorney.
The law does ordinarily require you to provide information such as your name and address, or to produce your drivers’ license. Beyond that you are not required to talk to the police or other law enforcement agents.
Conversations that at first appear to be innocent could result in you getting into trouble as a result of the statements you make.
The advice of an experienced attorney can help you navigate the tricky process of dealing with law enforcement.
If you have been approached by law enforcement officers call our attorneys at CPLS today. Our attorneys have years of experience in representing clients at both the state and federal level.
Whatever the topic, from white collar criminal investigations to traffic offenses, it always best to talk to an attorney before you make any statements.
You have the constitutional right to remain silent. Make sure you exercise that right.