Self-incrimination and the Right to an Attorney
What to do When Arrested and Questioned.
Many people, especially young people, are cynical about the police and our criminal legal system. It's quite common to give up after being arrested or to become angry at the cop or the law itself. However, instead of giving up, it's important to remember that our system provides legal services for everyone accused of a crime and sometime even of a violation - which is a non-crime.
If you are ever arrested, it is of the utmost importance that you do not discuss your case with the police until you have asked for an attorney and your attorney has arrived at the police station. DO NOT expect the police to honor your request for an attorney and simply give up questioning you as soon as you say you want an attorney. This is a common misunderstanding that often leads to disaster.
Many people think (usually from watching TV) that as soon as they say they want an attorney, the police will stop their questioning and everything will be over. NOT TRUE. The police will often continue to question you after you've asked for an attorney and you may feel that since you've already asked for an attorney, nothing you say can be used against you. This brings people's guard down and they open up and say things that may be detrimental to their defense. The Police WILL USE anything you say against you. NEVER talk to the police without an attorney under any circumstances!
Instead, simply say that you are going to remain silent and to please stop asking any more questions. If the police continue to ask you questions, say the words, "please stop asking me any more questions," over and over again until they eventually give up. It’s your best defense.