Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Should You Talk to the Police?

A man in Melrose was recently arrested after a shooting that injured two individuals. The man now faces various charges, including armed assault, assault and battery, and possessing a firearm without a license.  

The man’s arrest occurred following a several-agency investigation. Law enforcement on the scene soon located two individuals who had incurred gunshot wounds to the legs.

Following the shooting, the investigation quickly revealed the man as allegedly committing the crimes. The man’s arrest occurred without incident.

Remember Your Fifth Amendment Rights

Under the Fifth Amendment, no individual can be compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against themselves. Consequently, you should never speak to law enforcement without first speaking with your lawyer. Law enforcement is skilled at obtaining admissions from parties who have been arrested. If you are an innocent party, law enforcement will utilize various inconsistencies in your statements to show your guilt.

For example, the police might take statements out of context or misinterpret what you said. Anything you say can be used against you later on in a court of law to prove your guilt. 

Many times, the police will spend hours interrogating you and examining the details of your case before writing down a few critical sentences they remember you saying. Law enforcement has been known to paraphrase comments. The best course of action is to say nothing and ask for a lawyer. 

Why You Should Not Speak to Police Without a Lawyer

When you speak to the police without an attorney present, you likely do not know every criminal law and statute, criminal procedure, evidence law, and case interpretation. While you might think that you are escaping an arrest by talking to law enforcement, you might be inadvertently admitting to a criminal offense you did not know you committed.

Not speaking to law enforcement does not make you look guilty. Instead, not speaking to the police will make you look smart. You have a constitutional right to an attorney, and you should assert this right. After you retain a lawyer, the attorney will act as a buffer between you and law enforcement. Your attorney's job is to ensure you do not say or do anything to hurt your case. 

If a law enforcement officer asks you about a crime, you should tell the officer politely that you would like to assert your right to remain silent and that you would like an attorney. If you state these two things, the pressure that law enforcement puts on you to speak goes away, and they cannot ask you additional questions. 

After you retain a criminal defense lawyer, they will likely promptly contact the police and tell them that the lawyer now represents you. The attorney will then discuss the investigation and receive all of the crucial details about what is going on. While each case is unique, a skilled defense lawyer can help you navigate the various issues that arise during the introduction of criminal charges and the pursuit of a conviction.

Speak With a Compassionate Firearm Defense Lawyer

Following a criminal charge, no matter the offense, one of the best things you can do is obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R. Molari today.