You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Why You Shouldn’t Speak Until Your Attorney Arrives

If you or someone you know has been arrested, you’re probably familiar with some of your personal rights. One of your rights when you are arrested is the option to remain silent. Many individuals choose not to exercise this right, instead engaging with law enforcement professionals before their criminal defense attorney arrives. If you do get arrested, however, it is absolutely essential that you avoid speaking with the police until your attorney arrives and can be present with you. There are a few reasons why this is incredibly important.

First off, your attorney is familiar with coercion techniques. While you might feel like you’re ready to speak to the police, especially if you feel that you have been wronged, remember that the person interrogating you has one goal in mind. Their motivation is to get you to confess or to otherwise incriminate yourself. The person who interrogates you may use emotional triggers as a way to make you upset. After all, if you’re frustrated, you’re going to try to defend yourself. Your attorney will guide you through this process in order to achieve the best possible outcome. While you might be tempted to respond to comments made by the police, remember to always keep quiet until you can consult with your lawyer.

Next, your attorney knows what type of information can legally be asked of you. Unless you went to law school or have a thorough understanding of your state’s laws, understand that there may be limitations to what the police can request of you. While you may be asked for things like a DNA sample or to provide certain items in your possession, turn to your lawyer before you hand anything over. Even if your interrogator reminds you that you have nothing to hide, don’t be afraid to exercise your rights. It’s far better to remain silent or refuse to give a piece of property to the police than to be cooperative and accidentally incriminate yourself.

Finally, remember that you’re in a delicate situation. Real life police stations do not operate the same way that television ones do. Even if you have your own attorney, you might remain in police custody for hours before your lawyer arrives. You may grow tired or frustrated and may be tempted to discuss your situation with a police officer without your attorney. Remind yourself that even though you’re bored and exhausted, it’s important to wait for your attorney’s guidance. He can help you throughout the entire judicial process and is your best bet at having a positive outcome.

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