Except for in certain cases where there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime, you cannot be arrested until the police have a valid warrant for your arrest. This does not mean you will not interact with law enforcement before being arrested – you likely will. And during these interactions, there will be numerous opportunities for you to incriminate yourself. Successful criminal defense depends largely on avoiding self-incrimination. Keep the following tips in mind during your law enforcement interactions to avoid incriminating yourself.
Do Not Speak with Law Enforcement
If you remember nothing else about avoiding incrimination during your initial interaction with law enforcement, remember this: you have the right to remain silent. There are a few circumstances under which you are required to identify yourself to police. They are:
- If you are stopped while driving a car, you must show your driver’s license; and
- If you are in a public space, and law enforcement has reason to believe you were involved in a crime, they may ask you to identify yourself. If the officers have identified themselves as police officers in this circumstance, you must comply with their request.
Beyond identifying yourself, you are not required to answer any questions....