Know Your Rights: Interactions with Police

The attorneys at GillespieShields practice family, employment, civil, criminal, and immigration law.

Know Your Rights: Interacting with Police

It is important to know and understand your rights when interacting with the police. Many people may assume that if they are innocent, that the police will be on their side. That is unfortunately not the case. The police have the responsibility to enforce the law and investigate crimes. This means that if they are asking to speak with you about a crime, chances are they either think you did it or that you may know who did.

Silence is Golden

Ever since the Miranda case in the 1960s, the police are required to read people their rights when placing them under arrest. The first and most important of these rights is the right to remain silent. This is followed by a warning that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. The Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights guarantees the right against self-incrimination. It is important that you not waive this right. Remember, the police are trained to elicit confessions from people.

Innocent people may assume that if they can just explain themselves, they will be able to talk their way out of the situation. This is usually a grave mistake. In your haste to explain yourself, you can easily say something against your interests. It is important to understand that if a police officer has decided to arrest you, you will not be able to talk him or her out of it. However, if the officer is still undecided, you can absolutely talk him or her into arresting you by waiving your right to remain silent. Innocent people talk themselves into getting arrested all the time.

Let Your Lawyer do the Talking

The second part of the Miranda warning is a reminder of your right to an attorney, with the caveat that if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do not waive your right to counsel. People may assume that law enforcement is simply in pursuit of justice or the truth. If the State has decided to charge you with a crime, it means they suspect that you are truly guilty and that justice will be served by convicting you of the crime.

If the police insist that they just want to talk to you, you may let them know you would be happy to speak with them in the presence of your attorney. Waiving your right to counsel generally ensures that the prosecution is able to throw the book at you. Remember, it is the prosecutor’s job to ensure the State proves its case. Criminal defense attorneys are trained legal professionals who understand the complexities of the court system. They are well-equipped to advocate for your rights.

 

Contact an Attorney

If you stand accused of a crime, you need the support of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney at GillespieShields today!

In addition to criminal law, the attorneys at Gillespie, Shields, Goldfarb, & Taylor are skilled in family, civil, probate, employment and immigration law. They are a fixture of the community and serve the Phoenix and Mesa areas. Schedule your consultation today.

 

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice concerning your individual situation. We welcome you to contact us via phone, electronic mail, or through this website. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send us confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established.

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