Whether you are speaking to a motorcycle cop or a federal investigator, it can be intimidating to exercise your constitutional rights which is why many people feel unnecessarily pressured to speak to law enforcement when approached or asked. Just because a police officer does not appear to be officially interrogating you, remember that he or she is an expert at professionally and seamlessly learning of details that may incriminate you later. Therefore, you cannot guarantee the conversation will not get out of hand before you even have a moment to process what is being said. Without a lawyer or legal advisor present, you run the risk of sabotaging yourself in permanent and damaging ways.
Many people are afraid to exercise their constitutional right to a lawyer because they worry it will leave an impression of guilt. However, you are well within your full rights to calmly and politely request all conversations to take place in the presence of an attorney. No matter how difficult it can be to assert your rights while in police custody, you must resist placing yourself in jeopardy by accidentally saying the wrong thing or being cornered into a false statement that implicates you further. Remember, the police may even convince you to cooperate under the pretense that speaking to them will make the situation better—though it rarely does.
Asking for a lawyer is the smartest decision you can make when you find yourself in this situation. By no means is it an admission of guilt and any law-abiding law enforcement office must respect your desire to exercise your constitutional rights. Surrendering those rights is the worst mistake you can make.
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At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we refuse to back down from the challenge of delivering the results you deserve. Our noted criminal defense attorneys have the experience and resources to ensure your needs are met and your voice is heard. Allow us to fight for you today.
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