As criminal defense lawyers, we often see clients make the mistake of talking to police without their lawyer present, and they end up getting burned for it. If you get arrested, the best thing you can do is let police know that you want a lawyer and politely decline to talk about anything else until your lawyer arrives. Most people who talk to police without their lawyer present end up saying too much and, in the end, they get in more trouble. You will also give up certain rights if you talk to the police on your own.
Usually, people who talk to police without their lawyer present do so believing police will “let them off the hook” or give them a better deal because of their cooperation. However, by talking to police, more often than not, you reveal information that helps them build their case against you. One of the rights guaranteed to everyone charged with a crime by the Constitution is the right against self-incrimination — the right to not be a witness against yourself. But anything you say to police can be used against you in trial, so if you tell police you’re guilty or give them information that makes their case stronger, you have essentially given up your Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate yourself.
Many people get themselves further in trouble when they get arrested because they don’t know what to say, what not to say and how to behave. In short, the best strategy is to be polite and decline answering any questions about the matter for which you are being arrested until your defense lawyer is present. The following list will help you know what to do or say (and what not to do or say) should you ever be arrested.
If you are confronted by the police, do the following:
If you are arrested or are about to be arrested, do the following:
The chief thing is to remember not to give police or prosecutors any information about the matter for which you are being arrested unless your attorney advises you to do so. Don’t even confirm or deny information police say they already have. Police are not required to be truthful when interrogating a suspect. They often lie to provoke responses and get more information. Your response should be to politely and respectfully insist on having a lawyer present. If they insist on continuing to ask you questions after you’ve requested a lawyer, the questioning officers may be violating your rights, so be sure to tell your lawyer if this happens.
Defend Your Fifth Amendment Rights and Get Help from Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
The criminal defense attorneys at Stinson Law Group have extensive experience helping people charged with crimes defend their rights and keep police from bullying them into revealing more information than they’re required to. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Wyoming or Montana, call the criminal defense lawyers at Stinson Law Group in Cody toll free today for a free consultation: (888) 527-6090.