One of the most frequent questions I answer from my clients is “Should I have spoken with the police?” We are raised from an early age to look to the police for help, and the police are of course a critical resource for people in trouble.
But when the trouble you face is trouble with the law, the single best thing you can do to protect your rights is keep silent. A polite refusal to provide information to the police goes a long way toward making a criminal case easier to defend.
A judge I see in court frequently tells people in his courtroom, “One of the most important rights you have is the right to silence. And the best way to protect that right is to...remain silent!”
I’ve never met either a judge or prosecutor who criticized a client of mine for keeping quiet instead of spilling the beans. You can talk your way into a criminal charge, but it is very difficult to talk your way out of one. That is the job for a criminal defense attorney.
You have the right to silence, the right to a trial, the right to the assistance of an attorney at all stages of the legal process, the right to be presumed innocent. I tell my clients to exercise their right to silence and refer any inquiries from law enforcement to me. This simple step will go a long way towards protecting your rights.