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Why You Should Never Speak to Police Without a Criminal Defense Lawyer

 Posted on February 07, 2023 in Criminal Law

Waukesha Criminal Defense Attorneys

In the United States, the "right to remain silent" is well-known. After hearing police officers in movies and TV shows inform people of this right whenever they are arrested, American citizens know that they have protections that will allow them to avoid incriminating themselves. However, people choose to waive this right far too often. Even if a person is just trying to be helpful and cooperative with police investigations, they can inadvertently provide information that could lead to criminal charges. A recent high-profile case illustrates the dangers that people face when interacting with police and the importance of being represented by an attorney.

Movie Star to Face Manslaughter Charges

In 2021, Alec Baldwin, a well-known actor, was involved in an incident during a movie shoot that resulted in the death of a member of the film's crew. According to reports, he was given a gun to use during a scene, but he was not informed that it was loaded with live rounds. When Baldwin fired the gun while filming, the film's cinematographer was killed, and the director was injured.

In the aftermath of the incident, Baldwin agreed to cooperate with police officers and answer their questions. Even though he was informed of his right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning, he chose to waive those rights, believing that he was just answering questions about the incident and that the questioning was just a formality. However, prosecutors have since chosen to charge Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter, and the statements he gave during questioning are likely to play a significant role in the case.

While Baldwin's case is different from many other types of criminal matters, it illustrates the importance of legal representation during police questioning. Like many people who choose to waive their rights when speaking to police, Baldwin did not believe that he had done anything wrong, and he did not think that he would be charged with a crime. However, everything he said may be used against him, even though he did not realize that he may have incriminated himself.

People often do not realize the techniques that police officers may use to elicit confessions or gain information that could be used in a criminal prosecution. Police officers are allowed to lie to suspects, including by stating that they are not planning to press criminal charges, by claiming that they have evidence against a person that does not actually exist, or by indicating that they will be lenient if a person cooperates. To make matters worse, the rules of evidence may affect what types of statements will be admissible during a criminal trial. In many cases, only the most damaging statements a person made to police may be presented in their case, without the ability to show that they made other statements that indicated that they were innocent.

Because of these issues, it is crucial for anyone who is questioned by police officers to invoke their right to an attorney. A lawyer can provide guidance on how to answer questions and ensure that a person does not make any incriminating statements. They can make sure the person's rights will be protected throughout a criminal investigation while also providing a strong defense against any criminal charges that may be filed.

Contact Our Waukesha Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you have been arrested for a crime, or if police officers have asked you to answer questions or give a statement, you need to have legal representation. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our Pewaukee criminal defense lawyers can provide the legal advice and guidance you need to protect your rights in these situations. We will be with you every step of the way and help ensure that you can achieve a favorable outcome in your criminal case. Contact us today at 262-232-6699 for a free consultation.


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