A person has an absolute right to speak to or not to speak to whomever they want, and that includes law enforcement. A common question that I have on DUIs is whether or not a person should talk to a police officer about field sobriety tests, drinking and driving, etc., and my response is this: Every time you speak to a police officer about something, especially if they are investigating a crime which would be anything from a DUI up to a murder, you’re providing police with an opportunity to dig further to misinterpret what you’re trying to say and to build a case against you. It is absolutely important to be respectful to law enforcement, they are out there to protect the public and to make it safe. By the same token, it is also extremely important if you were being questioned by a police officer that you assert your right to remain silent and be respectful and simply tell a police officer with all due respect, “Officer, I have no problem answering any questions but I feel more comfortable if I have my lawyer with me and leave it at that.” You’re doing nothing wrong by asserting your right to have an attorney with you and if a police officer says, “Well, if that’s the case, we’re simply going to make an arrest” or “Now is your chance to come clean,” let them do whatever they need to do but there is really no reason to provide any further information, especially if you think they may be investigating something that you have some knowledge about, even if you are innocent or think you’re an innocent party involved in something. You never know what the angle of law enforcement is and you’re simply better off asserting your right to remain silent and respectfully telling a police officer that you would like to have an attorney present and you prefer not to make any statements.
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