In my previous blog, Invoke Your Rights and Secure Counsel, I discussed how it can only hurt you to speak to any government agent investigating a possible crime. Now, I will explain, argue, and plead that, when subjected to an involuntary encounter with the police, you invoke your rights, especially the right to remain silent, and that you remember to use your right to remain silent and just stop talking.
I have posted about why this is important, and why you cannot help yourself by talking, but you will hurt your situation. I have placed the things you should say to invoke your rights on the back of my business cards.
Invariably, I am challenged to explain how doing this will not make the investigating officer angry, or more suspicious, or more intent on pursuing their goals. There are no easy answers, and when you are faced with that situation, you are not in a position to make sound judgments, as the moment will be overwhelming. It is best to plan ahead, think about what such an encounter might be like, and have a strategy that maximizes your exercise of your rights, while not aggravating the seriousness of the situation.
As a way to take the focus off yourself, perhaps provide some levity in a tense situation, all while giving you the benefit of having invoked your rights and avoiding saying anything that might be used against you, I suggest blaming me. From the very first question, I suggest something along these lines:
Do I have to answer? You see, my attorney insists that I invoke my right to counsel and to remain silent and not consent to any search. I’d love to chat and explain more, but my attorney is adamant I invoke immediately. You seem nice, but my attorney is a real pain, so I’d rather take the risk that you might be mad than my attorney chewing me out and dropping me. Please take this card. I’m sorry, but I just can’t answer your questions.
You should have my cards handy, and provide one to the officer. Here is what the back looks like – present it with the back visible so that the government agent can see:
If you need some of my cards, please get in touch.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.
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