When a law enforcement officer wants to speak with you, it’s important
to understand your legal rights and why you should invoke your right to
silence. Whether you are under investigation or have already been charged,
law enforcement officers want you to talk because they want to obtain
as much information as they can.
It’s crucial to know that while you should remain respectful with
you have the right to remain silent. This a right protected by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,
which makes it clear individuals are protected from being compelled to
be a witness against him / herself in criminal matters.
Why It’s Important to Not Talk to the Police
Unless you are a victim of a crime, it’s important to
NOT speak with authorities without proper legal counsel and representation. By not speaking with
law enforcement, you give them less information to use in their version
of the facts and your involvement in a particular crime. This ultimately
protects you and the options available in your defense, should criminal
charges against you be formally filed.
It’s important to note that:
- Talking will not help you avoid an arrest. If law enforcement has probable
cause to arrest you, then they will arrest you.
- By speaking, you risk making a confession or providing information that
can be used to indict you, even unknowingly.
- Even if you feel that information being discussed is “harmless,”
it is still in your best interests to invoke your Fight Amendment right.
Authorities Want You to Talk
The state or federal government can and often does use what you say against
you. Law enforcement officers are trained at soliciting information that
can prove helpful in supporting the government’s case against you,
and they may employ tactics with several objectives in mind. Your words
can also be interpreted in a way that is not accurate.
Here are a few important things to remember:
- Officers may mislead you into self-incrimination.
- What you say can be misunderstood, purposefully or unintentionally.
- Discussing knowledge of certain facts can be used to demonstrate your involvement
or knowledge of a crime.
- Lying to a police officer can be considered suspicious, and may affect
your credibility. Even if you are innocent, a few white lies or omissions
could result in connecting you to a crime you did not commit.
- Officers at the scene or during initial contact don’t have the ability
to “help you” or “give you a break.” Only a prosecutor
has the ability to make deals.
- If you believe you are guilty, you should still not admit to guilt until
all facts come to light. Certain circumstances may change and, without
admissions, defense attorneys may have the opportunity to highlight errors
in your case or raise questions that can be used in your favor during
The furthest you should go when being stopped or questioned by law enforcement
should be to provide information about your identity. You can then politely
decline to answer questions, invoke your right to remain silent, and contact
an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you better understand
the situation, what could possibly happen, and your available options.
Stopped, Investigated, or Charged? Call Our Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or a loved one has had police contact or believe you soon might,
remember the importance of your right to remain silent. You should also
understand the importance of speaking with a reputable criminal defense
lawyer as soon as possible.
At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. our legal team has over a century
of collective experience protecting the rights of individuals who are
being investigated or who have been charged with crimes. Backed by insight
gained handling thousands of criminal cases at both the state and federal
level, our team is readily available to provide the counsel and representation
you need during this time.
Were you stopped, investigated, or charged with a crime? If so,
contact our award-winning Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys at Caplan &
Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. as soon as you can. We are available 24/7 to help.