Do I Need An Attorney to Talk to the Police?

The short answer is…it depends

If you are a victim or a witness to a crime you will want
to talk to the police.

If you are a suspect, the answer is always YES! You need an attorney.

Once they read your Miranda Rights, absolutely tell them you want an attorney and quit speaking. Do not ask them any questions, or ask them to explain anything. Be polite and respectful, but insist on your attorney being present for anymore questions.

Miranda Rights
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?
With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

Law Professor James Duane stresses that the best course of action if you want to avoid being prosecuted for a crime you didn’t commit is simply never to talk to the cops.  At all. Period.

As a result, if you’re approached by a police officer you’re legally obliged to tell them your name and what you’re up to at that exact moment, but beyond that Duane recommends sticking to the words: “I want a lawyer”. In 2008, Duane, a professor at Virginia’s Regent Law School, gave a lecture about the risks of talking to police that was filmed and posted to YouTube . His argument, which he’s since expanded into a new book called You Have the Right to Remain Innocent, is that even if you haven’t committed a crime, it’s dangerous to tell the police any information. You might make mistakes when explaining where you were at the time of a crime that the police interpret as lies; the officer talking to you could misremember what you say much later; you may be tricked into saying the wrong things by cops under no obligation to tell you the truth; and your statements to police could, in combination with faulty eyewitness accounts, shoddy “expert” testimony, and sheer bad luck, lead to you being convicted of a serious crime.

Prof. Duane thinks that you shouldn’t even tell the police that you are refusing to talk. Your safest course, he says, is to ask in no uncertain terms for a lawyer, and keep on asking until the police stop talking to you.

Besides, the police don’t think you’re innocent. Unfortunately as a suspect you cannot trust the police. You are the guilty one in their eyes. They just need to get a confession. The police are allowed to use deception during interrogations, such as saying a co-defendant has already admitted guilt, they have your DNA, fingerprints or video. If you’ve gotten this far without an attorney, Stop!!  Immediately ask for an attorney.

“What if I’m guilty?”

Most importantly, you need to exercise your right to remain silent and have an attorney. Your attorney will work to ensure you have adequate legal representation in court, and are subject to a fair trial. Your attorney will also try and get an appropriate and reasonable charge for the crime you are accused of.

Therefore, if you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Montgomery County or surrounding counties, you should seek a qualified lawyer such as John E. Choate, Jr., Attorney at Law, who can handle your case with experience. Call (936) 441-2999 Attorney John E. Choate, Jr. at Conroe Law Office.

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