Sigle Law pllc
509-962-1454 . 221 E 4th Ave, Ellensburg WA
You Have the Right to Remain Silent. Please Use It.
Most everyone knows that when you are being arrested, you have “the right to remain silent” because “anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” This is the first half of the Miranda Warning that police officers are required to read to you before asking you any questions. This right not to testify against yourself stems from the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
We hear these words all the time on television and in the movies – and it sounds so simple. Really, what could be easier than just not saying anything? Simple as it is, though, it certainly is not “easy.” We are taught from Kindergarten to trust police officers and to tell the truth. These lessons are not helpful, though, when you find yourself the subject of a potential criminal investigation.
You may believe that cooperating will make you look innocent or get you a better deal. Sometimes police officers may falsely indicate that they won’t press charges if you just tell them what happened. Regardless of why, the sad fact is that most people end up spilling their guts to the police, even though they have been fully warned that whatever they say will be used against them. And it usually is.
No Matter What You Say, It Will Probably Ruin Your Case.
If you hire an attorney to help defend you against a criminal charge, the first thing she will do is review the record to see if you said anything to the police. ANYTHING. Even if you only partially confess, or confess to something you believe is not harmful, that information will be difficult to suppress, overcome, or even to explain. The bottom line is that your confession will ruin your case.
Remember that the reason the police are asking you questions is because they need more information in order to charge you with the crime you are being suspected of committing. It is not going to make it better; you are not going to get a better deal; and you are probably giving them the missing piece to the puzzle they are trying to solve. Don’t give it to them.
Even if you are actually innocent, clearly the police suspect you of something, and talking is not going to help. So suppress your desire to exonerate yourself by telling your whole story and just wait to tell your attorney.
Be Polite – But Exercise Your Right.
As soon as you realize you are being questioned by the police – even before they have to read the Miranda Warning to you – stay quiet. There is no reason to be rude. Just politely tell the officer that you wish to remain silent and ask for an attorney. The officer will be required to stop questioning you but even if he keeps asking questions, just remain silent.
Be polite – but exercise your right.