KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Everyone who has ever watched TV or who has gone to a “cop” movie, is familiar with the recitation of rights to a person who’s been arrested:
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
- You have a right to an attorney, and
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
These rights apply to “custodial interrogations.” These are interrogations when you have been arrested, or are in handcuffs. If the police don’t read you your rights, and tell you that you are free to go at any time, just stand up and go. Don’t answer their questions. The only time to talk to the police is when you have been a victim, or a witness to a crime.
Notwithstanding these well known admonitions, probably 90% of the people arrested waive these rights and talk to the police. Innocent or guilty, it doesn’t matter. People talk to the police. There is never an advantage to you speaking to the police! If the officer has enough evidence to arrest you, he or she will do so regardless of what you tell them. If they lack the evidence, you will go home after you invoke your rights. Even if you have an alibi provided by an unimpeachable source, that won’t stop you from getting arrested if the police have their sights set on you. That is something that your attorney can do for you. You must understand that police officers lie to you when questioning you.
Common lies are:
- “We have DNA evidence.”
- “Your buddy in the next room has told us that you were the one who did this.”
- “We have a video of the break-in.”
- “We just want to help you and resolve this now.”
Don’t be taken in by these lies.
In the old movies, the attorney was referred to as “my mouthpiece” by the gangster who was under investigation, or charged with a crime. That moniker came from the fact that the attorney does the speaking for you. If you waive your 5th Amendment right to remain silent, and talk to the police, your statement can and will be used in court against you, even if you don’t testify. If you told the police a lie, when you get on the witness stand and change your statement, you will be a liar, and the jury has to pick which lie to believe. If you say nothing, and choose to testify at trial, your statement to the jury will be the only version they hear.
Assert your rights and call an attorney. Don’t become a witness against yourself.
I look forward to representing you. Please contact me by either email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone to 650 589-6990.