Don't Say Anything Without Your Fresno Criminal Lawyer Present
Oct 09, 2019
When someone is arrested for a crime, they may not be able to think clearly in that moment. Most people are in a state of distress at this time. They're upset about being arrested and about the effect this is going to have on their lives and their loved ones. So, they may not necessarily remember that it's best to speak only in the presence of their lawyers. However, this is one thing that everyone should keep in mind when they are arrested for a crime.
Why Should You Wait for Your Lawyer to Arrive?
The police are not going to go ahead and arrest you unless they have substantial evidence against you. And since they already have a lot of evidence, it's best if you don't corroborate it by telling them too much of what you know, whether you were involved in the crime or not.
What If You're Innocent or Have Important Information?
You may not think that it's going to hurt you to tell the police what you know. Maybe you have an alibi. Or maybe you know something important about the crime which will help them to catch the real criminal. Although all of this might be true, it's still best to wait until you've had a chance to consult with your criminal lawyer.
Generally, unless you have an ironclad, irrefutable defense to the crime, we usually advise clients to keep their mouth shut. The reason is that we can always discuss the case with law enforcement or the DA before charges are filed and present what you’d like to say in written correspondence. So, that still gives us a chance to head off the filing of a criminal charge without you running the risk of incriminating yourself.
Something important that I learned in law school from my criminal law professor, a current Superior Court Judge and former State and Federal prosecutor, is that the cops aren’t, necessarily looking for that Perry Mason moment where you confess to the crime. Rather, they’re looking to catch you in inconsistencies that can help prove their case or prove that you’re a liar. An example of this was a case I had where a client, against my advice, spoke to an officer regarding a hit and run several days later. He spoke to the officer via phone and only told him that he was driving the car at the time of the accident!! He was proud that he didn’t tell the officer anything else. I explained that was all the officer needed to secure his conviction.
Use Your Phone Call to Get in Touch with a Lawyer
Make sure that the first thing you do when you get arrested is to call your criminal lawyer. Or if you don't have one, then call a capable loved one who will be able to get you a criminal lawyer right away. And no matter how long it takes for your lawyer to get there, you need to be firm about the fact that you're going to wait for them to arrive. Most of the time, once you tell the police that you want your attorney present, all questioning will cease and that will be the end of the interview/interrogation.
Don't Say Anything Without Your Lawyer Present
The police will no doubt do their best to get you to tell them everything while your lawyer is not present. But you'll have to resist all these efforts. No matter who asks you questions, just tell them that you're waiting for your lawyer to get there before you say anything.
Contact us for a free consultation and to discuss your options immediately.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.