ABKLaw BLOG: The Innocent Should Remain Silent

BLOG from our #ABKLaw Partner Michael Jaccarino, Esq.:  The Innocent Should Remain Silent 

Most convicted criminals know not to talk to the police.  Generally, the first time they were arrested, they confessed, were prosecuted, and went to jail.  They won’t make that mistake again.

It is the innocent people who do not know, or utilize, their right to remain silent, which is granted to everyone by the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution.  It is precisely those who are innocent, who think that they have done nothing wrong, who should not say a thing!   Why?

To start, there are thousands of people sitting in prison cells right now who have been falsely convicted.  Unfortunately, many times, their conviction stemmed in part from their own statements or admissions to the police.

Too many people mistakenly think that only guilty people remain silent, don’t cooperate, or hire a lawyer to speak to the police on their behalf.  They think that it will make them look like they did something wrong. This could not be further form the truth and it can have disastrous consequences.  How?

Most individuals don’t know the law and whether something that they did was illegal, or what exactly they may be admitting to the police.  An individual may inadvertently confess to something they did not know was wrong or may unknowingly provide information to the police that could make the police think they committed the crime.  Not to mention, it is a federal crime to lie to a federal agent! However, it is NOT illegal for the police to lie to you. Often times, it is through these lies that take place over long, pressure filled interrogations, which can even lead someone to admit to a crime that they did not commit.

So, next time you are approached by a police officer – don’t be rude, but let the officer know that you decline to answer his questions.  Ask if you are under arrest. If you are not, you are free to walk away. If you are under arrest, state that you will not speak until an attorney is present. Exercise your right to remain silent.  Please.

Contact our office today to find out more about how this can impact you. 212-486-0011

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