It is almost never a good idea to talk to the police while suspected for criminal activity.
It does not matter if the crime one is being detained for is driving with a broken taillight or if they committed a bank robbery. Talking to the police without a lawyer almost always comes back to bite the defendant. This precisely why the Miranda Rights include the recitation of the defendant’s “right to remain silent” and “right to an attorney.” Lawyers know what to say, what not to say, and specific ways to say things which shed the most favorable light on a defendant.
Police officers are almost always allowed to question a suspect. They usually must Mirandize them, but this is not always required and California is slowly moving away from such a requirement. If the police are detaining a suspect, it is to get information which will lead to a successful prosecution of a crime. Offering a voluntary statement is fueling the fire and may even subject the defendant to a longer detention.
One of the most common ways to convince a judge or jury of someone’s guilt is to point out inconsistencies in their stories. It portrays them as a poor witness, a liar, and someone whose word cannot be trusted. If a suspect offers a statement to police, it is one more chance the prosecution has to find even a tiny inconsistency between the story she tells while in detention and the story she may tell again at trial.A police officer will make an arrest the moment he has enough evidence to make a case. If the police officer is simply detaining an individual but has not placed her under arrest, giving a statement will not facilitate her release. In fact, police officers may say they will only arrest a suspect if given a statement, or that a prosecutor will “go easy” if a statement is given. However, the prosecutor will likely charge the most severe crime he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt and a police officer will arrest with or without a statement if he has evidence to back up such an action.
The right to remain silent is often overlooked, but it can save a defendant the miserable reality of a conviction on record. Remaining silent, even if the defendant is one hundred percent innocent, is critical for a criminal defense procedure.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.