Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CRIMINAL: Were you lying then or are you lying now?

Whether you committed a crime or not, you have the right to remain silent when being questioned by an authority figure. The right against self-incrimination is a constitutionally protected fundamental right. This article will point out a few of the reasons you should keep your mouth shut.

Reason 1.

The police are not there to help you. They are there to gather evidence against you. Officers will play the good cop by acting like they want to understand you and will be on your side. Then, if you are less than forthcoming, the same cop or another one will become angry and attempt to threaten you into confessing. Do not fall into these traps.

The officers might act like they are just conversing with you. The fact is that they want to gather sufficient evidence so that they have probable cause to arrest you, at which point they will read you your rights-but it could be too late already if you confessed. The officers will say that you confessed voluntarily, even if they manipulated you long before they arrested you. Who are you to then stand up in court and call our fine peacekeepers liars?

Reason 2.

Officers can purposefully or negligently miss-write on their reports what you told them. Police reports are considered to be pretty good evidence in court. When you take the stand and recount under oath the events leading up to your arrest and what you say does not match up with the police report, the District Attorney can then ask you the damning rhetorical question of, "Were you lying then or are you lying now?"

Reason 3.

If you told the police anything, whether you are innocent or not, you have just made it much more difficult for your attorney later on to present a theory of the case that could show you are not guilty. By speaking to the officers, you are reducing your possible defenses.


A wise man once said something to the effect of "a person is not condemned by what is put in the mouth but by what comes out of." Therefore, when approached by an officer, be polite, courteous, and quiet.



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