The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution gives us one of the most important rights we have in this country – the right to remain silent. The reason this Amendment exists is to protect people from being forced to incriminate themselves when they are being questioned by law enforcement. No matter what situation you find yourself in, it is important to remember that you have this right and to exercise it if necessary.
If a law enforcement officer ever stops you and begins asking you questions about a crime they suspect you committed, the first thing you should do is to ask the officer if you are being detained. If they don’t have a valid reason to detain you, then you should legally be free to go. If the officer continues to ask questions or says “no,” you should assume that the officer considers you a suspect and immediately invoke your Fifth Amendment right. Politely, but firmly, inform the officer that you want to speak with a lawyer and that you will not answer any of their questions. This alone can make a huge difference in your case.
The following are reasons why talking to law enforcement won’t help your case:
- Anything you say can be used against you. The purpose of all the questioning is because the police want you to say something that they can use to strengthen their own case. Law enforcement is trained to try to get a confession out of a suspect, and often mislead or misinterpret in their attempts to do so.
- Play it safe. Even if you have nothing to hide, you could still end up accidentally saying something that could be interpreted as incriminating. You should also avoid making any statements because there may be other factors in the case that you might not be aware of. In either case, staying silent is always the best and safest policy.
- You can’t talk your way out of an arrest. Many people think that they will be able to avoid an arrest if they talk to the police, but this isn’t true. If an officer has probable cause, they will make the arrest no matter what the suspect says because they already have enough evidence suggesting that you committed the crime. Talking or not talking doesn’t make any difference!
All too often, people don’t take advantage of their right to remain silent and end up seriously hurting their chances of a successful outcome in their case. By not talking to police, suspects can decrease the amount of obstacles in their case, which then allows their lawyer to build a stronger and more effective defense on their behalf.
If you have been arrested and accused of committing a crime, immediately involve a Plano criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass. Our firm has provided exceptional criminal defense since 1993 and is known for passionate and relentless representation. No matter what you are facing, you can be confident that no case is too big for us to handle.
To discuss your case with a Plano criminal defense attorney at our firm, please call (972) 954-4441.