5 Things You Should NEVER Do if Questioned by a Police Officer
By Micah Huggins | May 8 , 2014 | 01
1) Admit to anything outside the presence of a lawyer
It’s important to remember that anything you say can be used against you later, especially in the court of law. The lawyer’s presence can ensure that you are within your rights, and they can guide your responses to keep you safe from any incrimination later on down the road. Truly, cases are won and lost at this point many, many times.
2) Agree to speak without your lawyer present
The 6th amendment entitles you to have an attorney in any given legal situation. When detained by the police, you have the right to notify them that you will not speak with anyone until your lawyer is present. This is especially important when you are under custodial interrogation, meaning not free to leave. Remember your attorney’s presence is meant to protect you. They can speak on your behalf. The way you invoke this right is when questioned, simply state “I want to have my lawyer present before I answer any questions.” See how easy that is? Now do it.
3) Consent to a search
Your 4th amendment protects you from any unlawful search by law enforcement. No officer has the right to search your property unless they have a warrant, probable cause, or your consent. Denying them entry will not negatively affect any legal case against you. Many make the mistake in feeling that they have to oblige the officer because they are in fear or feel intimated or threatened, but you do have rights, and they definitely do not end with your property.
4) Waive miranda rights
These rights are meant to protect you. As they are stated, you have the right to remain silent. There is a reason that right was created, and that is for you to be silent! Waiving your rights is not just signing them away with your signature, but can simply mean speaking to law enforcement once they have read you your rights. They have already warned you that any information you share can be used later in your case, and it most certainly will be.
5) Make deals without lawyer
Never try to make a deal on your own that may put you in a worse predicament. Your attorney has the ability to get you the best offer on the table. In some cases a negotiation can prevent your case from going to trial, or you may be given the option to take a lesser charge. The biggest mistake many being investigated make is crafting a deal with an investigator or police officer. No matter the promise, you should always be aware that your statements are going to be used against you. So, I suggest you get a lawyer down at the station before signing or writing anything.