Does Retaining A Lawyer Make You Appear Guilty To The Police?[playht_listen_button]If you are arrested by law enforcement, you might feel the need to disclose information to them without your lawyer present. This can be a big mistake. In your typical Hollywood movie, those under arrest or who are under suspicion of committing a crime are frowned upon by law enforcement the moment that a lawyer is requested. Perhaps your perception is that someone who is under arrest must be guilty; however, this could be the furthest thing from the truth. Here’s why you should still hire a lawyer regardless of how you are perceived.
Protecting Yourself Is More Important Than How You Are Perceived
When you are arrested by the police and are about to be interrogated by them, then they have to issue you a Miranda warning. In other words, the police must tell you that you have the right to remain silent, and that anything that you say can be used against you in a court of law, and that you have the right to have your lawyer present before and during questioning. Before or after providing you this warning, law enforcement might try to convince you that talking to them right away will result in the best treatment. Along these lines, you might be improperly led to believe that a lawyer isn’t really necessary and that if you request one, then the government may throw the book at you.
Notably, law enforcement officers are not ignorant to the many benefits provided by lawyers, and these officers would likely not think twice before hiring legal counsel after being arrested. Secondly, contrary to popular belief, law enforcement officers are not at liberty to condition the charges that they bring against you on whether you call your lawyer.
More importantly, the case against you does not become stronger by you hiring a lawyer. In fact, if you don’t get a lawyer, then you are susceptible to slipping up and saying something that you may regret. With no lawyer on your side, you actually run the risk of making your situation much worse. You probably wouldn’t feel comfortable flying a commercial plane if you had no experience flying, would you?
You might be inclined to explain away your situation to law enforcement without a lawyer present because you want law enforcement to believe you. But explaining your situation could easily lend itself to law enforcement taking your statement and explanation out of context, which might later be used against you. Alternatively, your explanation could be completely misconstrued. Many people find being placed under arrest to be an extremely emotionally daunting experience. This might cause you to say something that you would not otherwise say. You might admit to breaking the law without even knowing it. Police are not lying when they tell you that anything you say can and will be used against you.
In Your Criminal Case, Your Lawyer Is On Your Side, Not The Police Or Prosecutor
When you are sitting opposite of the detective or other law enforcement officers who seek information from you, don’t be surprised if they try to act friendly towards you. Who knows, they might even offer you an e-cigarette. They expect you to be friendly in return for answering their questions. This is likely a trap. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that police officers are to some extent allowed to lie to you in hopes that you will speak up. By having your lawyer present, your lawyer will help ensure that the investigation is being conducted properly and that your rights are protected. If you don’t have a lawyer present, how would you know whether your rights have been violated? How would you really know what you should or shouldn’t say?
California Criminal Defense Lawyers On Your Side
How you appear to the police does not really matter. Police and prosecutors inherently handle cases with one thing in mind – landing a conviction. Their bias could get in the way of justice being served. Remember – evidence is what matters, not police perceptions. If you are inclined to say something to law enforcement without your lawyer present because you want to be perceived as innocent, then you run the risk of giving police evidence that could lead to your conviction. It is one thing to be viewed as guilty. It is another thing to be found guilty.
Hiring a lawyer is critical to building a strong case for your defense. The attorneys at My Rights Law – Criminal & DUI Attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of the accused in criminal cases. If you have been charged with a drug possession offense, then call (888) 702-8882 or contact us online for a free consultation regarding your case.