Perhaps nothing is as terrifying as being arrested. Many law-abiding citizens have never had handcuffs slapped on them, and they will do anything to be free so they can return to their families. After taking a suspect into custody, police usually usher them into a room for an interrogation. Believe it or not, this is usually the most critical moment in a case.
Unfortunately, many suspects try to “talk their way” out of the charges. What they are doing instead is most likely digging their own graves. If you’ve been arrested—or if police just show up at your door—you are not required to talk. Instead, ask for a Galveston criminal defense attorney and call Tad Nelson immediately.
You Don’t Have to Answer Police Questions
Police might come knocking on your door to ask questions as part of an investigation. Here’s something you might not know: you are not legally required to answer them. True, you need to identify yourself if asked and probably show a driver’s license or other form of ID. But that’s all you need to do.
Of course, some people are uncomfortable asking the police to leave because they feel that puts a target on their back. But if you were at all involved in a crime, you should refuse to answer any questions. Don’t invite anyone inside but say, at the door, you don’t want to talk.
You Have the Right to an Attorney Present during Any Interrogation
If the police arrest you and take you to the station, they’ll probably want to interrogate you. Anyone in custody has the Constitutional right to have an attorney with them. The police should tell you that you have this right. But even if they don’t, you can go ahead and say, “I want to talk to a lawyer.”
Once You Ask for an Attorney, Questioning Must Stop
This is the law, which is as clear as day. Still, many police officers press their luck, hoping you’ll continue to talk even after requesting an attorney. You should refuse. Don’t’ be surprised if an officer comes around every hour or so to ask innocent questions as you wait for a lawyer.
Talking Does Defendants No Good
There is a simple reason to remain silent: you might say something you later regret. In every criminal case, the state has the burden of proving each element beyond a reasonable doubt. Many times, prosecutors lack solid evidence to prove some critical element, which means it’s possible to win a case—so long as you don’t hand over incriminating evidence.
Suppose you are picked up for DWI. By the time you actually have blood drawn, the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system has declined significantly. At that point, you might be under the legal limit. That puts the prosecutor in a bind. To get a conviction, she now needs to show your normal faculties were impaired—which is much harder to do.
But suppose under police questioning you had blurted out, “I just left a bar an hour ago!” Then the prosecutor can probably submit that statement at court, resulting in an easy conviction.
Silence is Golden—Contact a Galveston Criminal Defense Attorney
Our legal team can jump in and protect your Constitutional rights. Please contact us today.