Most people get nervous interacting with police officers, even when they haven’t done anything wrong. As Americans, we have certain constitutional rights. These rights are designed to protect us. You should never hesitate to invoke your rights if you find yourself in the custody of law enforcement officers. If you come into contact with law enforcement, it is important that you know your rights. If you are being detained while police investigate criminal activity, it is crucial that you know your rights.

You Have The Right To Remain Silent

Do not talk to the police without a lawyer present. Tell the police that you want your attorney present before you answer any questions. Make sure you tell officers you are invoking your right to remain silent. If you do not inform the officers that you are exercising this constitutional right, they may try to use your silence against you in court as evidence of guilt.

You Have The Right To An Attorney

You cannot be compelled to be a witness against yourself. This means that you do not have to give any information to anyone that could incriminate you. The only person you should discuss your case with is your attorney. Never discuss the facts of your case with anyone else. Anyone you speak with about your case could be subpoenaed as a witness in your case.

You Have The Right To Not Incriminate Yourself

You have the right to have an attorney represent you in almost every phase of the criminal justice system. Your attorney will advise you of your rights, options and risks and will be able to determine whether your constitutional rights were violated in any way. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you. The criminal justice system is extremely complicated. Do not try to navigate your case alone.

Never Allow Law Enforcement Into Your Home

With few exceptions, police officers need a warrant to enter your home. If a police officer knocks on your door, you do not have to open it. If you do open the door and step outside, the officers have the right to detain you for questioning. Do yourself a favor and just stay inside. Officers will typically leave but may return with a warrant. Call your attorney immediately if police officers are attempting to contact you.

Never Consent To A Search

Law enforcement officers cannot search your property without your permission unless they have a warrant issued by a Judge. It is in your best interest to deny any officer’s request to search your property until you have discussed the issue with your attorney.

The Police Are Not On Your Side

Police officers are trained to use certain tactics to get you to talk. They will tell you they just want to get your side of the story, that they will put in a good word for you to the prosecutor, that your charges wont be as bad if you cooperate. They are lying to you. Everything you say makes their jobs easier and their cases stronger. Be respectful to officers, but do not answer any of their questions until your lawyer is present.

Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime, you need a trained and experienced advocate to help you through the criminal court process. A criminal defense attorney will review your case and determine whether there is a way to exclude evidence, have your case dismissed or have your charges reduced. A criminal defense attorney will also be able to negotiate and minimize your exposure. Do not try to take the government on yourself. Contact Riley Law today for a free consultation.