You Have the Right to Remain Silent
All over the state of California, prison and jail cells are filled with innocent people wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit, and many of them will spend the rest of their lives regretting the day they agreed to talk to the police.
Unfortunately, not every person knows how to properly handle the situation after being put under arrest by a police officer. First of all you should remember:
Law enforcement agencies are required to give you the opportunity to call your lawyer!
You have the right to say nothing. You may demand a lawyer at any time, or as soon as a police officer asks you a question. Please exercise your constitutional right at this time.
Be as Polite as Possible
The way you communicate with the police, as well as your behavior will largely dictate how smoothly things will go. Especially if you are not guilty of anything. Despite the fact that the police have many good employees, who follow proper procedures and the law, there are always some who do not care about your rights. You never know who you will meet, unfortunately. So, remember:
Never talk with the police, and do not attempt to explain what happened when you’re detained.
Sometimes, even a good policeman will make mistakes and those mistakes may result in you winning your case. That’s why everyone should learn to assert their rights civilly and convincingly.
Anything You Say Will Be Used Against You
We’ve all heard the infamous ‘Miranda Rights’. Every person in the United States has the constitutional right not to testify against himself, his spouse and close relatives (parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children, brothers and sisters, grandfather, grandmother, or grandchildren, even friends). Also, priests do not have to testify against those who confide in them in confession.
No one word you say to a policeman will ever be used in your favor, but will ALWAYS BE USED AGAINST YOU!
Reasons You Shouldn’t Talk to Police
1. It won’t help you
All that you say can be used against you and never in favor of you. A policeman can catch on any word that will help him in his search for the guilty party, and it may be you who are guilty in his eyes.
2. Even if you’re guilty, you will destroy any chances of beating your case
First, hire an attorney. Let us do our work, and we can do everything that needs to be done to win your case or reach the most favorable outcome. It is impossible to win when there is a confession. For example, do you know what happens if the cop cannot be located and there is no confession? The case gets dismissed.
3. You may get confused, and say the wrong things to the police because of their interrogation tactics
Example: You are accused of murder and police officer told that you are guilty. You were in the area on the night of the murder, but during the interrogation you say the following: “I did not kill anyone. I have never even held a weapon in my hands and do not know how to use it, and I was not in the area at all.” You got scared because they intimidated you, and felt that a little white lie would help prove your case.
4. Even if you are innocent, and you tell the truth, it is possible to give the police a circumstantial detail of information that can be used to convict you
If you make any statement, it could be used against you later. E.g. “Yes I saw him tonight. I never liked the guy, but, I didn’t kill him” Bingo. You just incriminated yourself: “I never liked the guy.” You just provided the motive and the opportunity.
5. Even if you’re innocent, and you tell the truth, your entire statement may be videotaped, and an innocent assumption about a fact or detail (possibly overheard on the way to the police station), can be used against you
Their reasoning will be something like, ‘only the person who committed the crime could know this’, despite the fact that you merely overheard this from someone else and later adopted it as your own.
6. Discrepancies with witness testimonies
Example: You told the police that you were in exact district that evening, but no one could confirm this. A witness who also has a motive, says she saw you in different area in the evening. If you hadn’t said anything, there wouldn’t be any discrepancies between your testimony and someone else’s testimony.
What should I do if I was stopped and they ask to see your license and registration? How do I make sure that my communication with the police is as short and safe as possible for me? For this situation, you can read our article “What to do During a Police Encounter“.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges of any kind in Los Angeles, or the Southern California area, you need to hire an attorney who has long-standing professional relationships with the Judges and District Attorneys, as well as proven track record. Don’t panic. We’re here to help. Get a FREE consultation.
Call Us: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an expert in Criminal Law who has over 17 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.