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bay-area-criminal-defense-lawyer.jpgPolice interrogations are often intense. Officers ask individuals a series of questions aimed at gathering information about an alleged crime. Police may interrogate someone they think committed a crime or someone who may have evidence or information relevant to a criminal case. It is important for everyone to understand their rights regarding police interrogations – and even more importantly, to assert these rights effectively.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Most people have heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent,” but few truly understand just how powerful this statement is. In the United States, we have a right to avoid self-incrimination that is protected by the U.S. Constitution. You cannot be forced to testify against yourself.  If you are ever arrested for a crime or brought into police custody for questioning, you do not have to answer the officers’ questions. Often, the police will imply or even outright insist that you will be better off cooperating with the interrogation. They may say something like, “We cannot help you if you do not talk to us.” Sometimes, police imply that the suspect will get a lowered sentence or reduced penalties if he or she confesses. Do not fall victim to these tactics.  

You Have the Right to Be Represented by an Attorney

If you were accused of a crime, the first person you should share any information with is your attorney. A skilled criminal defense attorney will understand how best to defend you against whatever charges you are facing. He or she will ensure that you do not worsen your situation by revealing information. Before you talk to police, talk to your lawyer.

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