October 28, 2016
You have the right to remain silent. No surprise there, almost everyone knows this. But understanding the right to remain silent and actually exercising that right are two very different things.
Let me paint you a picture. You’ve been arrested and are given an opportunity to call your lawyer. It’s 2 am but you pick up the phone and make the call. Lawyer’s do not hate getting these middle-of-the-night phone calls, its what we signed up for, it comes with the territory. You speak with your lawyer and they invariably tell you in no uncertain terms to “shut the f**k up”. Yes, sometimes we say it just like that. We don’t say it to be rude or because we have a propensity for dramatic flair. We say it like that because we are trying to get your attention. We are trying to make you understand just how important it is to keep your mouth shut. We are likely the last person you will speak with before the police will try and take a statement from you and we want our words to be stuck in your mind. Because we know the police are going to pull out every stop. They are going to say all the right things and push every button you have. They are professionals. It is their job to get you to talk and more often than not they succeed.
Lawyer’s don’t hate the middle-of-the night-phone call. What we hate taking is that call, telling you to keep your mouth shut and then reading the 50-page statement you gave to the police when we get your disclosure. Make no mistake, there is nothing, I mean nothing you can say in a police interview that will help your case. Everything you say can and will be used against you. The very best thing you can do is simply shut up and say nothing.
Caution: This is not legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. To ensure your interests are protected, seek formal advice from a lawyer.