If you are being questioned by the police, it is most likely because you or someone you know is suspected of having engaged in illegal activity. People are often unsure about what they should do when they find themselves in this situation. Here then, is the single most important thing to do when questioned by the police in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Why You Should Say Nothing When Questioned By The Police In Tahlequah
It is always in your best interests not to speak to the police, unless advised by an Tahlequah attorney. This cannot be stressed enough.
The police have the power to approach you and ask you questions, regardless of your guilt or innocence, or whether they intend to arrest you or not. However, with very few exceptions, you have no legal obligation to answer.
While you are encouraged to cooperate with the police as much as possible, the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution gives you the right to remain silent and you would be well advised to do so for the following reasons:
- Anything you say can be used against you in court.
- There is the chance what you say may be distorted and used against you.
- By talking to the police you stand the risk of admitting guilt without any benefit. If you admit to guilt too soon, you may lose your chance to secure a plea agreement.
- Even if you are innocent, what you say might implicate you in criminal activity.
The police may exert pressure on you to talk and you may be very tempted to do so; however, you cannot be punished for simply refusing to answer their questions.
Stay calm and invoke your constitutional right to remain silent. Also, be sure that you ask for an attorney.
Explicitly asking for an attorney gives you more protection under the law than simply refusing to answer. Once you ask for an attorney, the police cannot later resume questioning or begin to question you about any other crimes.
Simply state clearly, “I do not want to answer any questions and I would like to speak to an attorney.” Repeat this as many times as necessary. Then contact an attorney as soon as you have the opportunity to do so.
Another thing to remember is that the police are required to read you your Miranda Rights if they are taking you into custody. You have been taken into custody anytime you reasonably feel that you are not free to go.
If you are unsure whether or not you are free to go, simply ask the officers, “Am I free to go?” Continue to ask until you get an answer or you are free to go. If you are not free to go, you are in custody.
On the other hand, the police are not required to read you your Miranda Rights if they are not taking you into custody. This means they may ask you incriminating questions without giving you fair warning that anything you say can be used against you in court.
So, do not assume that since they did not Mirandize you, anything you say will be inadmissible in court and that you will escape on account of this. Remain silent whether you reasonably believe you have been taken into custody or not.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Attorney
For a free consultation with a Tahlequah criminal defense attorney, call 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.