If you or somebody you know has been charged with a felony, there are a few crucial things that you should not say to law enforcement. It is important to remember that your lawyer’s role is to help you out if you are suspected of trouble with the law and that the prosecution can file charges against innocent suspects in the hope of obtaining a conviction.
Unfortunately, the justice system is not perfect, and innocent people do go to prison. If you have been charged with a felony, read these tips from the law offices of John Kirby Law before you talk to anybody who is not your criminal defense lawyer.
Do Not Give a Statement
When you are first charged with a felony, there is often pressure from law enforcement or the prosecutor’s office to give a statement. This is something that should be avoided at all costs. Whether you have been charged with a white collar crime or other type of crime, insist on having a lawyer present before you answer any questions. This request must be clear and unmistakable, and be polite but firm.
If you ask the police if you need a lawyer, they might tell you that you do not, which is incorrect information. They will try to persuade you to give a statement without a lawyer present, so make it clear that you refuse to talk unless your lawyer is in the room. Even though the police may be friendly to you, a lawyer is the only one who can get you out of any possible charges.
Never Consent to a Search
Similar to never talking to the police without a lawyer present, you should never consent to a search of yourself, your home, or your vehicle. It is your legal right to refuse a search, and like refusing to talk to the police, you should be polite but firm when refusing to consent to a search. By consenting to a search, you are waiving your valuable Constitutional rights. Your refusal to consent to a search cannot by itself serve as a basis to conduct a search against your consent.
The Police May Lie to You
Many people convicted of a felony may be surprised to learn that police can and will lie to them in order to gain a confession. It is not illegal for police to lie to suspects to get them to talk. Possible lies that you might hear include telling you that they have an eyewitness that can identify you, that they have your fingerprints, or that another person has given a statement implicating you. When you hear these potential lies, don’t talk. Wait for your criminal defense to arrive.
San Diego, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer
Here at John Kirby Law, we believe in the importance of allowing our clients to work directly with their attorney. With over 40 years of combined experience, our team of drug lawyers and defense lawyers knows how to protect your rights. Remember that it is absolutely vital to not speak to law enforcement when you are charged with a felony.
For any questions about your legal rights to a lawyer, contact us at (619) 349-1728.