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Your right to remain silent – Use it

The fish kills itself with it's own mouth. That is one of my wife's favorite sayings and it is certainly true. In my over 9 year career in criminal justice I have seen countless cases where if the defendant did not talk to police they would surely not be prosecuted or convicted. Even the most innocent person can say things in an interview that makes them look guilty.

We have all heard "Do not talk to the police!" and "Get a lawyer!" And yet person after person ignores this sound advice. Why? I think people either think they are smart enough to talk their way out of trouble or believe that if the police only here the truth this whole thing will just go away. They are both wrong. Let's dispel some myths.

Myth #1 if they hear the truth this whole thing will just go away. Reality once the police are involved this thing is not going away until someone is in jail, if they are talking to you there is a very good chance you may be one of the people that will end up in jail.

Myth #2 I am smart enough to talk my way out of this. Reality, if you believe this myth you really are not vary smart at all. Police investigators are some of the most street wise guys you will run into and they are highly trained to get the answers they are looking for. They already possess significant facts about the crime scene and what other witness have said and legally the police can lie to you about the evidence they have or what other witnesses have told them. The police investigator will but you under significant pressure to incriminate yourself, and everything including the room is designed so that you will. Do you see the trap you are about to step into. Even if you do not say anything that hurts you too bad the investigators will most likely to say that you were being evasive or outright lying.

Myth #3 I am not a suspect just a witness. Reality everybody is a suspect you may be the prime suspect and they will never tell you.

Myth #4 the police are my friend and they need my help to catch the real bad guy. Reality no matter how nice they are they are not your friend they are professionals out to catch the bad guy, their friends are other cops. Reality they do need your help to catch the real bad guy which they may believe is you.

Myth # 5 If I do not talk to them I may look more guilty. Reality SO WHAT! It really is not what they think that matters it is what they can prove. Do not make the jury think you are guilty, they understand invoking your rights; they do not understand you saying things that make you look guilty. You can always assist them later when you have an attorney to protect you.

My advice: Ask to speak to an Attorney. Do not talk to the police in casual conversation (no such thing). Do not make an oral or written statement to police. Never take a polygraph. Hire an Attorney you trust and who practices criminal law all the time.

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