Passion, Knowledge & Experience
Innocent and Facing Charges That Would Have Ruined My Life
Do I have the right to remain silent?
You *always* have the right to remain silent. In fact, the minute a police officer begins talking to you about any sort of crime, the first thing you should say is, "I don't want to speak without a lawyer present." That should also be the last thing you say.
Most people don't understand how they were supposed to remain silent or refuse DWI field sobriety tests when "some cop with a gun is standing there screaming at you." They have a good point. It's scary to tell a police officer that you aren't going to do what they ask, because most of us have been trained our entire lives to be good citizens, tell the truth, and do what the police officer tells us to do. Most of us have never been pulled out of our car, handcuffed, arrested, and put into a patrol car. Most of us never want to have that experience, and we think/hope/pray that if we tell the truth - that we had two glasses of wine with dinner (and that was an hour ago) - that the police officer will let us go home. Sometimes that happens. I've heard two stories with that happy ending during the last ten years. But the story I usually hear is,
"Really, I only had two glasses of wine all night - how did I blow a .12?!"
You have the right to remain silent. If a police officer asks if you have had anything to drink, you have the right to say, "I'm sorry, I never answer law enforcement questions without my lawyer." Will the cop yell and scream? Maybe. Will he or she arrest you? Probably. But personally, I would rather get arrested without providing any evidence to convict me than hand the prosecutor her entire case, gift-wrapped.
If you have been charged with a crime, first ask for a lawyer. Then call The Militello Law firm at (585) 485-0025. The call is free.