In America, one of the most important rights we have is the right to remain silent. Under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, this right to remain silent protects you from incriminating yourself when stopped or questioned by a law enforcement officer. No matter the situation, it’s important to remember your right to remain silent, and to exercise it appropriately.
Whenever you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, you should ask whether you are free to go. If they say no or ask you questions, you should assume that you are a suspect and immediately invoke your Fifth Amendment right. You can do this simply by politely stating that you wish to remain silent and/or speak with a lawyer.
Remaining silent can make the difference in your case. All too often, suspects harm themselves and their defense because they decided to talk. When you remain silent, you give yourself and your lawyer the opportunity to create an effective defense strategy with fewer obstacles.
To help you understand why talking really won’t help your case, we’ve put together a short list of reasons below:
- You can’t talk your way out of an arrest - Most of the time when people talk to police, it is because they think they can talk their way out of an arrest. This simply isn’t true. If an officer has probable cause, they will arrest you no matter what you say. By talking, you only give them more things to use against you should you be arrested. Additionally, don’t be misled into thinking talking will get you some type of deal. Police do not have the ability to make deals or cut you slack.
- What you say can be used against you - Remember, what you say to an officer of the law can be used against you. In fact, law enforcement officers often want you to say something incriminating in order to make an arrest and case easier. They may try to mislead you or they may honestly misinterpret what you say. In addition, you may admit to knowing certain facts that can be used to prove that you know about a crime, even if that’s not necessarily the case.
- Play it safe - Even if you believe you are innocent or guilty, it is best to play it safe and exercise your right to remain silent. People who believe they may be guilty should not be quick to admit guilt, as there may be facts and circumstances that they don’t know about. Others who believe in their innocence should also remain silent to avoid saying potentially incriminating things or having law enforcement misinterpret them.
Any criminal defense attorney who knows what they’re doing will tell you that your right to remain silent is crucial. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we believe the same. Still, we work with clients in all types of cases involving all types of facts and circumstances, and have the tools and resources to represent anyone, whether they talked or not.
If you’re under investigation or if you have been arrested and charged with a crime, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys are available to help. Contact us today for a FREE and confidential consultation.