"Suspects" Should Never Give a Statement to the Police

Posted by Neil Shouse | Dec 05, 2010 | 0 Comments

Persons that are detained by the police for suspected criminal activity should NEVER give a statement.

Whether you are being detained for a simple traffic violation or for a serious crime, DO NOT make a statement. You should always invoke your right to remain silent.

The majority of the public think the police must advise them of their Miranda rights before questioning them. This is not true. There are numerous exceptions to the Miranda rule and the Supreme court is slowly eroding the Miranda ruling. Remember the police are not your friend if you are suspected of a criminal act. Nothing good will come from giving a voluntary statement.

If you are placed under arrest, you should NEVER give up your right to remain silent. Invoke your right and demand for an attorney to be present. The officers will play mind games with you and tell you that the District Attorney will go easy on you if you tell the truth. I have seen officers play on suspects religious beliefs by saying “Do you believe in God? God forgives everyone.” If they have not placed you under arrest, many times the officer will say he doesn't want to arrest you but he will have to unless you provide a statement.

If they have enough evidence they will arrest you regardless of whether or not you give a statement. Do not make a conviction easy for them by giving a statement that may incriminate you. They will try to use any little inconsistency against you. Even if you are completely innocent of the crime, you should always invoke your right to remain silent and demand to speak to an attorney. I have seen numerous defendants get convicted by giving a statement. Many of these cases would have never been filed by the prosecutor if the defendant had just remained silent. Read our article about Miranda Rights in California DUI cases. Read our related article on Nevada law, "What are my rights if I am questioned by Nevada police?"

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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