Through Udall Shumway you can get high quality representation if you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in the city of Mesa, AZ. If you ever end up in a situation where you are being interviewed, interrogated, or questioned by an agent of the government you should invoke your rights to secure counsel. You only need to remember to say these 3 things, “I invoke my right to remain silent. I want my attorney. Am I free to go?” If you are told you are free to leave then do so swiftly without any comment.

What’s the Harm?

In order to better comprehend why it will only hurt to speak to an agent of the government who is investigating a crime one should watch this video from Professor James Duane who properly explains how your words can hurt you down the line.

Basically, he says that there is no way it can help you at all as you can’t talk them out of arresting you. That isn’t something that happens. Also, giving them more information doesn’t help during your trial as what you say is admissible in court only if offered against you (Evidence Rule 801(d)(2)(A)).

He also goes on to say that whether guilty or innocent you may end up admitting guilt without any benefit to your person. There is no rush, and you can always speak later if needed. When it comes to federal court a whopping 86% of all defendants end up pleading guilty at one time or another prior to trial. When the trial arrives your statement to the agents could end up being the only evidence that is admissible. Don’t give them that evidence to use against you.

The Innocence Project states that, “In more than 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty.”

Professor Duane goes on to say that often times even the innocent who mostly tell the truth might tell one small lie or make one small mistake that they can use against you. Even only telling the complete truth gives the agents information that they will use to try and convict you. Even if there is nothing incriminating in what you say, your answers can still be used to crucify you if they don’t recall your testimony in a completely accurate way, if they don’t recall the questions accurately, or if they have any piece of evidence (even unreliable or mistaken evidence) that goes against your statements and makes them sound false.

Even if granted immunity for your statements to the agents, you should always choose your words very carefully and consult with private counsel.

Most Common Mistakes After Charged With a Crime

In addition to the above, make sure not to make these 2 additional, and very common mistakes after charged with a crime:

Allowing Searches That Are Not Mandatory

If the police present you with a warrant you may be required to comply. However, you need to realize that in certain situations you have the opportunity to decline a search from the police. For instance, there are many people who mistakenly consent to a search when they get pulled over for a traffic violation. Without probably cause (contraband such as drugs in plain sight), you do not need to comply with the police’s requests for a search.

Not Hiring a Lawyer

Even if you are being charged with something where you are obviously innocent, or the offense you are facing might be very minor, you should always be exercising your rights to speak with your attorney. This is so that you can be guided through the process and to protect your rights as firmly as possibly. Your lawyer is going to be essential in answering your questions and keeping you from having any missteps during any interactions with authorities. Remember that you always have the right to an attorney, and in any event where you are charged with a serious crime you should make full use of that right. Never hesitate to get qualified legal advice.

If you or a loved one is in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in the city of Mesa, AZ, you should consider contacting Udall Shumway for a comprehensive defense. Even if you’ve already been appointed a public defender, you have the right to retain your own counsel.

Udall Shumway PLC
1138 N Alma School Rd Suite 101
Mesa, AZ 85201

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. If you need legal advice in Arizona, please feel free to contact Udall Shumway at 480.461.5300. 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.