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Why do many criminal suspects choose to remain silent?

| Apr 7, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

A phone call or in-person visit from the police may come one day. Criminal suspects residing in Maryland might wish to talk things over with the police and tell their side of the story. Doing so could turn into a nightmare scenario. Persons not familiar with police questions and their purpose might find themselves admitting guilt or otherwise making harmful statements.

Police seek to procure evidence of a crime

The police are not district attorneys or prosecutors. They do not withdraw or drop charges. They investigate crimes and look for evidence. If the police suspect someone of a criminal act, they may talk to the person to get the other person to incriminate him/herself. An innocent person might even place him or herself at the scene of a crime, an admission that could hurt a defense.

Sometimes, a person could make a false statement to the police by accident. People forget things or don’t remember details. Regardless, legal jeopardies might increase.

The police could approach someone casually, asking them to come to the station to make a statement or work things out. Doing so without an attorney present may prove highly regrettable.

The right to remain silent

The United States Constitution affords people the right to remain silent. A person could decline to answer police questions before or after being arrested. The Constitution also gives people the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Invoking these rights might keep someone from making a difficult situation potentially worse.

Answering questions with an attorney present might keep civil rights violations from occurring. At the very least, an attorney may prevent the accused from answering specific potentially incriminating questions.

Contacting a criminal defense attorney to deal with police questioning could keep the suspect from making a drastic mistake. A defense attorney might also advise a client about his or her rights.