The 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution protects us from “self incrimination”. Despite this protection, statements made to police by defendants are often the most powerful evidence presented against them at trial. It is in the early stages of a criminal investigation (before a suspect is formally charged) when police officers attempt to get these damaging statements. Although police have broad power to detain a person suspected of committing a crime for investigative purposes, you do not have to give the police a statement during a custodial interrogation without having an attorney present. In fact, over 50 years ago, (1966) the United States Supreme Court held in Miranda vs. Arizona that a suspect in custody must be advised of his or her right to remain silent and not make statements to police without having an attorney present. Failure by a police officer, detective or prosecuting attorney to provide this advice could result in the Court suppressing the defendant’s statement as evidence in a criminal trial.
So when detained by police remember your constitutional rights under Miranda at the outset of the interrogation process and ask to be represented by an attorney.
At The Conner Law Group, our attorneys are only a telephone call away, 24 hours a day.