Know Your Rights
At Alperstein & Diener, we sometimes hear people say, “I haven’t done anything wrong, why would I need an attorney? I will just tell the police the truth.” The reality is that innocent people need an attorney during a police investigation just as much, if not more, a person who is guilty.
If the police suspect that you have committed a crime, they are allowed to lie to you, trick you, and manipulate you into giving a confession. They might pretend that you are only a witness, or that they are there to help you. It is, therefore, critically important that you understand your rights if you are questioned by the police.
The Fifth Amendment protects your right to remain silent. Often referred to as “pleading the Fifth,” it is one of your most valuable tools when involved in a police investigation. By asserting your right to remain silent, your Fifth Amendment privilege, you are telling the officers that you don’t want to speak with them. Once you do that, the police are required to stop questioning you. If you find yourself being questioned by police, calmly and assertively say, “I am exercising my right to remain silent. I do not wish to answer any questions.”
In some situations, you also have the right to have an attorney present during police questioning. If you are considering giving a statement to the police, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced criminal attorney, and to have that attorney present when you speak to the police. An experienced defense attorney can discuss with you the pros and cons of giving a statement to the police, and can assure that your rights are protected during questioning. If you are a part of a police investigation, or the police have asked to speak with you, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Alperstein & Diener, P.A.