People often say they agreed to speak with the police because they didn’t have anything to hide.
But we’re here to tell it to you straight – You should never voluntarily go down to the station and talk to the police without a lawyer.
Even if you have nothing to hide.
Here are some of the main reasons to avoid these types of discussions, and how to get in touch with an attorney who can help you through the process, instead.
Standing up for your rights
The simplest and most straight-forward reason not to talk to the police without a lawyer is that you have multiple rights that allow you to refuse.
1. You have the right to not incriminate yourself.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes a number of legal rights for all U.S. citizens, including the right to avoid self-incrimination.
Self-incrimination occurs when you say something that opens you up to the possibility of prosecution.
One example of this right is the Miranda warning – commonly referred to as the “Miranda rights” on TV. When a police officer plans on questioning a person they’ve arrested, they have to remind them that they have the right to avoid saying something that will incriminate them later on in the legal process.
2.You have the right to remain silent.
But the most popular use of the Fifth Amendment in the media (and also included in Miranda rights) is the right to remain silent.
Again, this right is linked to the right against self-incrimination. You may have seen in court cases on the news or in movies and television that when someone doesn’t want to answer a question, they say, “I plead the fifth.”
3. And most importantly, you have constitutional rights for people not to search your body and your effects.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
It (in theory) protects us against the infamous “stop-and-frisk” policies, and allows people to say no when the police want to search their car, their house, and their personal effects if the police don’t already have a warrant.
For example, if you get pulled over for a broken tail light, and the officer asks to search your car, you not only have the right to say no, but you should say no! Even if you have nothing to hide!
Not what you signed up for
Additionally, when you choose to talk to the police, you run the risk of your words getting twisted. Intentionally or unintentionally, the officers you speak with may “not recall” what you told them, or get the details wrong.
Plus, when you allow officers to search your car, house, etc., they might find something that you had no idea about. Or when you speak with them, they might ask you about things that they never told you they were going to ask you about.
Once you open yourself up to this type of situation, they become the ones with all the power.
That’s why you need a lawyer with you
Your lawyer is the one looking out for your best interests in this type of case.
Calling a lawyer doesn’t make you look guilty. It merely reveals that you are someone intelligently exercising your constitutional rights.
Criminal defense attorneys like the attorneys at the Frye Law Group are particularly suited to assist in this type of situation – attorneys who know how the game is played and who know how to help you protect your rights and your future.
If you or someone you love is being asked to speak with the police – no matter what the circumstances are – call our office today to get a defense attorney by your side.