This is important: anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Now, this may surprise you, but this doesn’t just apply at the time of an arrest or only while in the police station for an interview. In criminal cases the reason is clear to stay quiet -anything you say (or write) at any point in the investigation may be used against you in court.
When speaking with a defense attorney, what you say becomes confidential. Once you ask for a lawyer, we can guide your answers to make sure that while you cooperate, you also don’t incriminate yourself. Once you’ve said it you can’t take it back; it’s best to be safe rather than sorry. Attorney Ben Stechschulte shares ways to avoid potential legal issues by talking too much to the wrong people.
During a Police Interview
A good rule of thumb is to not speak about the case – before, during, or after your arrest to anyone but your lawyer. At the beginning of a case, all the details and facts are still being investigated.
Many clients believe that by saying more to the police to be “helpful” that they will appear less guilty. However, if law enforcement asks you for an interview you should call for an attorney to protect yourself from accidentally incriminating yourself.
The police may not have your best interests in mind. We understand that hiring an attorney is an unexpected expense, but it’s one that’s well worth it if you or a loved one is called for an interview. Our Tampa, FL law firm is available 24/7 and offers payment plans to help you have the legal representation you need.
Alone in the Interview Room
If you decide to go it alone for an interview, say nothing even when alone in the interview room. You are on camera and these recordings may be entered into evidence at a later point.
Don’t talk about crimes under investigation, even to yourself, if there is any possibility someone will hear or read it later. The moment anyone begins to question you about a potential crime, ask for a lawyer. Then remain silent.
Remember anything you say could all be used against you and this counts even if you’re bored and muttering to yourself.
It is very common for investigators to use wiretaps or confidential informants to get you to admit guilt over the phone.
Do not discuss your case with your friends or family (including your parents). This is the time to only speak with your attorney. If a loved one is currently in jail, they shouldn’t speak to anyone other than counsel as all conversations from jail are being recorded and confidentiality isn’t presumed.
Many people don’t realize that forensic teams can look back at your phone records and text messages even after you’ve deleted them.
Text messages can be extremely damaging to the outcome of your case. It is ill-advised to reach out to anyone especially those who the prosecution may consider coconspirators or witnesses. Messages may be taken out of context. These may later be viewed as attempts to coerce or threaten potential witnesses and can lead to more charges (ex. Conspiracy) and steeper penalties.
Forensic data analysts can review any electronic communication including email and social media messages. Don’t leave a written trail. You should assume that you are leaving a digital footprint for investigators to use should your case go to trial.
Stay Silent, Don’t Hurt Your Case
Your “privacy settings” aren’t effective. Video is everywhere and you may be under surveillance. And your best friend may have become an informant on you.
Remain silent, keep your thoughts to yourself, and only speak with your attorney. That’s why you hired a top-rated defense law firm. Emails, texts, Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat, and anything you say on tape will live on –even after you delete it. Simply don’t speak about a pending criminal case, especially if you might be a suspect.
Law enforcement will seize any opportunity to use whatever you say to prove you guilty even if you aren’t. Plus, what you post or say creates a record about you that can be used by prosecutors.
Call our Tampa Defense Attorney
The best advice an attorney can give is “don’t speak about your case.” Any questions should be directed to your lawyer. Call our top-rated criminal defense attorney to ensure that you are not saying anything that can jeopardize your case. Stechschulte Nell brings you the best possible service with our transparency and client confidentiality.
Our experienced attorneys can help; call our South Tampa defense lawyer today.