What is so important about the right to remain silent? As a defense attorney, how do you explain this to your clients?

Question: What is so important about the right to remain silent? As a defense attorney, how do you explain this to your clients?

Answer: As a defense attorney, I tell everybody, whether they’re my clients, whether they’re people that I just give general advice to on the street, never talk to the police if you’re the suspect of a crime without having an attorney present. It is almost never a good idea, it is almost never in your interest to waive your Miranda rights and speak to the police in that situation. And the reason is, really the police are not on your side. When they suspect you of a crime, they have an agenda, they’re trying to build a case against you. And many times they’ll say, “Look, we’re just trying to get your side of the story, we just want to clear your name.” They will pretend to be on your side, but rarely is that genuine, rarely is that actually the case. Usually they’re trying to trick you, they’re trying to trip you up, they’re trying to build a case against you. And as a criminal defense attorney, I can’t tell you how many people I have seen in the justice system be convicted, go to jail, who never would have been convicted if they had just invoked their Miranda rights or if they had just not spoken to the police, not agreed to speak to the police without an attorney present.

So, in that sense, yes I think it’s sort of a blanket advice that I would give to anybody that if you are a suspect or if you think you may be a suspect in a crime—even if you’re innocent, even if you have nothing to hide—don’t speak to the police without an attorney present. Invoke your right to remain silent. And moreover, I would take it a step further. Even if the police don’t read you your rights, even if you’re not under arrest yet—if you’re just detained, if it’s just casual contact, if the police merely knock at your door and ask if they could speak to you voluntarily, if you think you may be a suspect, don’t speak to them without having an attorney present.

Click Here To Submit Your Question

< Back to Helpful Videos

Helpful Videos

Click Here To Browse Our Video Library.

Watch Our Videos

Ask Us A Question

Send Us Your Questions. It's Free!

Send My Question