One of the most amazing aspects of the practice of criminal defense law is the number of people who would never be arrested if they simply exercised their right to remain silent. Even after being advised of their Miranda warnings and knowing they don’t have to say anything, many people still cannot resist running their mouths.
You can’t talk your way out of an arrest. If the police are planning to arrest you, they are going to arrest you no matter what you say. However, there are many times where people would never be arrested if they would simply keep their mouths shut. In fact, if the police are trying to get a statement from you, it often means that they don’t have enough evidence to arrest you without your statement.
Even worse, an innocent person will often say things that cause him or her to suffer from a false arrest that would have never happened if he or she hadn’t spoken to the police Being innocent of a crime does not stop a person from being arrested, or even convicted, of a crime. Faulty memories (of both defendants and police officers), the natural tendency of the mind to fill in missing facts with assumptions, the desire of people to appear cooperative, the possibility that the police possess evidence that contradicts the person’s story (even if the police evidence is inaccurate), or anything that could take a person’s truthful statement and make it appear to contain falsehoods could result in the conviction of an innocent person.
Pages and pages could be written on this subject, and I will post articles on this subject in the future. For now, I am going to sit back and let law professor (and former criminal defense lawyer) James Duane, along with Officer George Bruch, do the talking in this fantastic video lecture entitled “Don’t talk to the police.” Every person in America should watch this video, and follow the professor’s advice. The video is here:
Regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent, listen to the professor and keep your mouth shut.
William L. Pfeifer, Jr.
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