Why Every Criminal Defense Attorney Wants You To Remain Silent
Many people seek legal help after they have spoken with law enforcement. Often, a person will talk with law enforcement with the hopes that doing so will help his or her case. The truth is that rarely does talking with law enforcement help. Remember, the work of the police and prosecutors is to investigate criminal cases and get convictions. After an arrest, it is in your best interest to avoid speaking with law enforcement without an attorney. But why does every criminal defense attorney want you to remain silent after an arrest? Read on to find out.
Why Any Criminal Defense Attorney Will Tell You To Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent
The right to remain silent can be found under the Fifth Amendment to the nation’s Constitution. Everyone knows about the right to remain silent. Yet, many people will talk to law enforcement after an arrest and tell them everything they know (or think they know). After an arrest, you should invoke your right to remain silent and reach out to an attorney. An attorney can assess your situation and determine if talking to law enforcement is what’s best for you. Your attorney can help you understand what you should and should not say to law enforcement.
Criminal defense attorneys tell suspects not to speak to law enforcement because speaking to law enforcement can result in a suspect making statements that can be used against him or her. If you talk to law enforcement before you have had time to think through your answers, review documents that could jog your memory, or meet and discuss the situation with an attorney, it becomes easy to make incriminating statements. You could also unintentionally make an untrue statement. If that happens, you could end up being prosecuted for making false statements to law enforcement and for the other crime that was originally under investigation.
Even if an officer seems friendly and suggests that he or she is only trying to collect some information from you, you should avoid talking to him or her without an attorney present. An officer might even tell you, “This is your only opportunity to tell your side of the story.” Do not fall for this, no matter how scary the situation is.
Won’t Refusing To Speak to Law Enforcement Make Me Look Guilty?
People often talk to law enforcement because they fear they will look guilty if they don’t speak. Authorities cannot infer guilt just because someone chose to remain silent. And even if authorities insist on charging you because you refused to talk, keep in mind that you are still innocent. In the United States of America, a criminal suspect is innocent until proven guilty. Not the other way around. And when it comes to proving guilt, the prosecution must meet the highest legal burden of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt.
In conclusion, it is vital to state that there are some exceptions to the right to remain silent. For instance, if an officer asks for your name and address after an arrest, you are required to provide this information.
Contact Citizen Soldier Law
If you need help with a New Jersey criminal case, contact a skilled and dedicated New Jersey criminal defense attorney at Citizen Soldier Law.