The U.S. Constitution Gives You The Right To An Attorney During Police Interrogations
The Fifth Amendment requires police to give criminal suspects in their custody Miranda warnings, including informing them of their right to an attorney, before questioning them. When a cop fails to warn a suspect of her Miranda rights, any information gained from the suspect during an interrogation is inadmissible in court. Suspects have the right to consult with an attorney even if they have not been formally arrested.
The controversial 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Salinas v. Texas, introduced a new requirement for suspects seeking to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights when they are stopped for police questioning. The Supreme Court ruled that it is not enough for a suspect to remain silent during questioning. Rather, suspects must expressly invoke the Fifth Amendment in response to police questioning by saying to the police, “I wish to remain silent.”
What Are The Risks Of Speaking To Police While In Custody?
Many Texas citizens impulsively engage in conversation with police after a stop out of nervousness, fear, or their desire to explain that, “this is not what it looks like,” in hopes of being released. This is a risky decision with potentially damaging consequences. The more you talk, the more opportunities you have to weaken the defense of your case. You should never speak to police before consulting with an attorney. At most, you should provide police your name and personal information, which can simply be done by handing the cops your driver’s license or identification card.
There are many reasons to remain silent after a police stop, including:
- Talking to police may give them information they need to build a stronger case against you.
- You may be able to get a better plea deal down the road if you do not provide too much information to cops up front.
- You may provide information to the police early on that can be used to challenge your credibility later during trial.
- You may inadvertently provide information that can demonstrate motive or opportunity to commit the crime in question.
- It is highly unlikely that you will be able to recall the exact details of your conversation with police between the time of your arrest and your trial. You run the risk of being perceived as dishonest by a judge or jury if you omit details at trial that the police report and records include.
Consult Houston/Galveston Criminal Defense Attorney Mark A. Diaz Before Speaking With Police
Mark A. Diaz is an aggressive criminal defense attorney with more than fifteen years of experience defending criminal cases. From arrest through trial, he works hard to get the best possible results in and out of court. As an attorney well versed in proper police procedure, Mr. Diaz will evaluate your case closely to determine if your constitutional rights were violated, and will work aggressively to get the court to reduce the charges against you or dismiss your case entirely.
This website has been prepared by Mark A. Diaz for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.