blog home Criminal Defense Why You Shouldn’t Talk to Police Without an Attorney Present

Why You Shouldn’t Talk to Police Without an Attorney Present

By San Diego Attorney on June 10, 2023

Man in a prison jumpsuit in an interrogation room. He is handcuffed to the table and making an expression. We see the back of a police officer who is facing the criminal.

Being questioned by the police is incredibly intimidating, and you may feel obligated to answer any questions. You could end up saying something that is later used against you, landing you in some serious legal hot water. Instead of submitting to law enforcement’s questions, it is crucial to retain legal representation. Not only is this a wise step to take, but it is also your constitutional right. An experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney could advise you on navigating an interrogation, so you don’t become a victim of the justice system.

The Right to Remain Silent

Under the Fifth Amendment, we have the constitutional right to remain silent. That means you do not have to answer any of the questions law enforcement officers ask you when investigating the details of a crime. Whether you are being questioned or under arrest, you are not legally obligated to say anything. Even if you initially spoke to the police and answered their questions, rather than continuing, you can exercise your Fifth Amendment rights if you feel you are a person of interest in a criminal case.

The best thing you can do if the police are questioning you is to remain silent until you have legal representation. Your attorney will advise you on how to proceed.

The Complexity of Police Interrogations

Police officers can and often do lie to people they question or have in custody. They do this to compel you to talk to them in the hope of having you admit to some element of a crime. These interrogations are stressful, and the psychological pressures endured may be so great that you disclose something that could lead to being charged with a criminal offense. Having an attorney at your side reduces the pressure since you will have someone on your side, providing sound legal advice.

While police officers may try to convince you that they are trying to help you, the fact is that only a criminal defense attorney is actually on your side. Your attorney could help you avoid self-incrimination by advising you regarding your answers or whether you have to answer at all.

Navigating the Criminal Justice System

Many people lack extensive legal knowledge and are very unprepared when caught in the criminal justice system on their own. The last thing you want to do is make a legal decision without fully understanding the repercussions. A criminal defense attorney could shed some clarity, preventing you from making a serious mistake. If questioning ultimately escalates to the point where you face criminal charges, the information you provide will be used against you. It is imperative to be very careful about what you say and heed your attorney’s advice. Consider the following tips when it comes to exercising your rights:

  • Exercise your Fifth Amendment rights and do not answer any questions or talk to law enforcement officers without consulting with an attorney
  • Do not agree to interviews with police investigators
  • Do not make statements or comments
  • Do not try to defend yourself by speaking to an officer

Protect Your Rights by Consulting an Experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

If the police are questioning you, you do not have to face this terrifying situation on your own. You have a right to an attorney and should exercise that right for the best possible outcome. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our knowledgeable San Diego criminal defense team is committed to providing fierce legal representation for those caught up in the criminal justice system. Reach out to our law office today at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a consultation and protect your rights.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

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