Why You Should Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
Nearly everyone who has watched Law & Order or Criminal Minds knows about the Miranda warning that the cops give to a person as they are making an arrest. A well-known part of that warning is your right to remain silent. This right stems from the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When a police officer questions you about a crime or accuses you of committing a crime, you have the right to avoid incriminating yourself; in other words, you do not have to say anything. In fact, you always should remain silent in this type of situation, at least until you have received legal advice from an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney. Anything that you do say can be used against you in court proceedings.
What if I Am Innocent?
If you didn’t commit or weren’t involved in the crime for which police arrested you, you still should ask to contact your attorney. All too often, innocent people try to answer questions or proclaim their innocence when confronted by police. In many cases, however, this strategy can backfire, in that you may inadvertently say something that the police interpret as guilt of or complicity in a crime. To avoid this problem, you should consult your attorney before saying anything. Contacting an attorney doesn’t make you look guilty and can help you in the long run. While the criminal justice system is set up to be fair to individuals who are accused of crimes, people make mistakes, and, as a result, individuals have been convicted of and sentenced for crimes that they did not commit.
What if I Am Guilty?
Whether you are innocent or guilty, you still should invoke your right to remain silent and not make any type of statement to police or try to answer their questions. The police may try to pressure you to speak by telling you that you will receive a less severe punishment or the prosecution will go easier on you if you confess to the crime. The fact is that police have no influence on the outcome of your criminal proceedings; the prosecutor decides how to charge you and the judge determines your sentence if you are found guilty. Again, you should immediately ask to get in touch with your attorney so that you can get the advice that you need.
Contact Your Naperville Criminal Defense Attorney for Assistance
No matter what type of criminal offense is involved, you always can and should remain silent if a police officer is attempting to question you about or implicate you in a crime. If you are arrested the best policy is to simply remain silent until you receive legal advice. Since your liberty is at stake in any criminal arrest, the assistance of an experienced Naperville criminal defense lawyer is essential. Contact the attorneys of Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today, and allow us to advise you on the best course of action for your situation.