5 Reasons to Never Talk to Police Without Your Florida Defense Attorney Present
You may already know that you have the right to an attorney when you’re being questioned by police, but there are situations where you might think you can get away with handling the conversation yourself. Trying to represent yourself in a criminal case is such a mistake that not even experienced lawyers will do it. Instead of putting your rights at risk, call a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney to be at your side throughout the process. There are five key reasons why this is your best strategy to defend against the charges.
1. You have the right to an attorney: The primary reason not to talk without having your lawyer present is that it’s your right. The US and Florida Constitutions both protect your fundamental right to counsel when you’ve been accused of a crime, but it’s up to you to take advantage of it. Don’t answer any questions, provide any statements, or even utter a comment unless your attorney is by your side.
2. You have the right to remain silent: A very similar issue to #1 is your right against self-incrimination, as you cannot be called upon to be a witness against yourself. This is exactly what you may accidentally do when answering questions posed by police, because the information can be used by the prosecutor to convict you. The language “right to remain silent” is from the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona, but the concept is grounded in the 5th Amendment.
3. Talking won’t help – whether you’re guilty or innocent: The chances that your statements will exonerate you from guilt are slim. If you’re innocent, your words are very unlikely to convince police to not charge you. In most situations of questioning, officers have already made up their mind to arrest and let the criminal process run its course.
4. Police may not recall the details: Police will definitely take notes and will absolutely recall any earth-shattering statements you make in response to questioning. However, there are some details that they may leave out – information which could benefit your case. Your comments are skewed as they pass from an officer, to the police report, and then to the prosecutor. A lawyer will be adamant about making sure the questioning is recorded.
5. Officers only have the power to arrest: It’s common for police to tell you that they’ll be lenient, they can work out a deal with the prosecutor, or that they’ll protect your interests if you talk. They have authority to do none of these things. Officers only have the power to decide whether to arrest you. An attorney knows the role of police and will not fall for any of these questioning tactics.
Call a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
As you can see, it’s important to retain an experienced attorney the moment they start asking questions about criminal activity. When that time comes, contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik for assistance. We can schedule a consultation to discuss representation during questioning and other phases of the criminal process.