Four Tips to Use When Speaking to Law Enforcement
Whether you are being questioned at your home, or you were brought to the local precinct for official questioning, it is important that you understand your rights. More importantly, you should never allow law enforcement to question you without a defense attorney present – and it is your right to have one present.
Four Things to Remember When Speaking to the Police
Regardless of why you are being questioned, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind whenever you are speaking with law enforcement:
- Police use social pressures to get information out of you. Police officers like to use traps – and it is legal for them to do so. In most cases, police officers will use social pressures in order to gain information. They know that most citizens are easily intimidated by police – especially because they carry a gun and handcuffs. But, regardless of that social stigma, police officers are humans, and they cannot threaten you. If you are approached by a police officer, then you still have the right to tell them that you do not want to speak with them.
- You are allowed to leave if you are not detained. If you are being casually questioned by the police and you are not detained, then you do have the right to leave. You should first ask the officer if you are being detained. If the officer states that you are not, then you have the right to walk away and refuse to answer any further questions. Remember that police officers will use their natural intimidation to make you think otherwise, but you do have the right to leave.
- Invoke your Miranda Rights immediately. The Miranda warning is required by police officers. They must advise you of your rights; the purpose is to protect a person against self-incrimination. However, police will use tactics to avoid having to advise you of your rights. Therefore, the moment when you are taken into custody, it is recommended that you state that you do not want to answer questions, and that you would like to speak with an attorney.
- Never assume that questions are innocent. While police officers may lead you to think that their questioning is innocent, realize that if they are speaking with you, they have an ulterior motive.
Are You Being Questioned by the Police? Contact an Attorney First
You have the right to remain silent and speak with an attorney. Exercise that right if police ask to speak with you – regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty. The attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices are here to represent your rights and protect you from self-incrimination. Speak with us today over a free case evaluation by calling us at 505-375-4767, or fill out our online contact form with your questions.