If you are arrested in New Jersey, the police may ask questions or request you to provide a statement. However, the U.S. Constitution gives you rights to shield you from police interrogations in certain situations. Understanding these rights is essential, especially if you face criminal charges. Follow these tips from the NJ criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law.
What are the Dangers of Speaking with the Police Without Your Attorney Present?
You have the right to an attorney if you are arrested or charged with a crime. Ask for a lawyer immediately. Speaking to the police without your attorney present can be risky for the following reasons:
- You could say something the police will use against you – Never try to talk your way out of an arrest or argue with the police. Anything you say could be used against you later in court.
- The police could ask tricky questions meant to trip you up – Police investigators receive training to ask questions in a way that might cause a suspect to make incriminating statements. The police are allowed to lie during questioning. However, they must accurately inform you of your charges.
- You could confess to a crime by accident – Officers may encourage you to confess to a crime in exchange for reduced charges or a better outcome. Or they could threaten you with harsher punishment if you refuse to talk. The police have no control over the outcome of your charges. That decision ultimately rests with the trial court.
After an Arrest, What Questions Should You Answer?
The only questions you must answer following an arrest are those to establish your identity. You must provide your correct name, birth date, and residential address. In addition, if you are arrested on a traffic offense, you must also provide officers with your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
What is the Best Way to Assert Your Right to Remain Silent?
The most effective way to assert your right to remain silent is to inform the police that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right and will not answer any questions without your lawyer present. You will then need to exercise your right to remain silent by not responding to further questions.
Do Police Ever Need a Statement from an Arrestee?
Just because you have been arrested does not mean that officers will question you about your charges. Investigators may already have evidence against you. However, police may attempt to interrogate you because a confession or self-incriminating statements makes the prosecutor’s job much easier. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can protect you from answering unfair or potentially harmful questions.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
You have the right to remain silent after an arrest. Don’t let the police convince you otherwise. Get protection by contacting a tough criminal defense lawyer at William Proetta Criminal Law. Our law firm is available 24/7, and all initial consultations are free.