By: James Davis
If you’ve ever switched on a television you’ve likely heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” The guidance in this first half of the infamous Miranda warnings is something that everyone should take to heart.
If you are questioned by authorities about a crime that they think you committed, it is essentially never in your best interest to say a word.
Don’t Fall for the Trap
Law enforcement officers are required to read you the Miranda warnings in certain settings. But that does not mean that they will not attempt to get you to make incriminating statements that could hurt your legal defense down the road. Unfortunately, many people get themselves into worse trouble by making statements to officers when they could have remained silent.
Our Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer understands that some officers may attempt to elicit responses from suspects in many different ways. It is not uncommon for officers to make misleading statements in an effort to get you to talk. For example, you might hear that your honesty would be appreciated and taken into consideration by the District Attorney. They try to make it seem like they are helping you. At other times the officers might suggest that they believe you were justified in your actions and just want to hear your answers to verify their suspicions.
No matter how beneficial the officers make it seem, from a legal perspective there is simply nothing to gain by answering questions from officers about a crime that you are suspected of committing without your attorney.
Whether it is a drug charge, domestic violence allegation, or anything in between, do not forget that statements you make to law enforcement officers can be twisted, taken out of context, and otherwise used to make it more difficult to mount your strongest defense.
Your Legal Rights
Whenever you are questioned by authorities about a crime, it is vital to remember to exercise your rights to remain silent. You should clearly state that you will not speak without your attorney. At that point you should immediately seek out the help of a lawyer in your area to represent you. The legal professional will then be your advocate, ensuring that your rights are respected throughout the process.
There may be a temptation to make claims of innocence when asked questions by an officer. But far too often, even when you plan only on denying the charges, you may inadvertently make some additional comments that end up being used against you later on. You will be able to share your side of the story after discussing with your attorney about how your statements might affect the case.
An Advocate on Your Side
If you or someone you know is charged with any sort of crime, be sure to get in touch with the criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of James Davis. Attorney Davis has years of experiencing helping those charged with a wide range of crimes throughout our area in both state and federal court.