Randall L Vonderheide PC - Logo

Attorney at Law

Phone: (765) 423-2557

Fax: (765) 423-4544

300 Main Street, Suite #500
Lafayette, IN 47901

Talk to your Lawyer, Not the Police

Pressure and fear can cause people to do irrational things, like confessing to crimes they did not commit. The pressure of being threatened with massive prison time, often for hours on end, often by an authority figure who is legally authorized to lie to you, can be substantial. People cannot know how they will react in such a situation without having experienced it before.

Your future life can be very different if you assert your constitutional rights. But which rights? Pleading the Fifth Amendment and the right to remain silent have become part of everyday speech. But pleading the Fifth alone is not enough. The United States Supreme Court in Salinas v. Texas decided that a defendant who remains silent in the face of non-custodial police questioning may have his silence offered as evidence of his guilt. In United States v. Long, the Eight Circuit allowed a prosecutor to argue a defendant’s statement that he did not wish to incriminate himself was evidence of his guilt. In short, whether a defendant simply refuses to answer questions or explicitly refuses to give a statement that may incriminate himself, his conduct of exercising his Fifth Amendment right could potentially be offered as evidence of his guilt.

The right you should assert is to “Plead the Sixth”, your right to an attorney. Instead of making or not making any statement that could later be used in court, you should state simply and directly, that you wish to speak to an attorney.

Courts generally agree that a suspect’s request to have an attorney present while they are questioned cannot be offered as evidence of guilt. Even if a jury was made aware that a defendant requested a lawyer before being interviewed, that request is less suspicious than the implied assertion that the truth will incriminate you. It is wise for any individual facing police questioning to ask for the advice of an attorney prior to answering. So when questioned by the police, do not talk to the police, talk to your lawyer.

With over 34 years of handling thousands of criminal cases, Steven Knecht is familiar with the possible defenses to criminal charges. Few other attorney can match his trial experience and knowledge of criminal law and he can use that experience and knowledge to help you. If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that you can trust such as Steven Knecht to help you fight the State because you have a lot at stake on the outcome.

Filed to Ask a Lawyer, Criminal Defense

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