Spend any time watching a crime TV show or movie, you’ll see people constantly giving statements to police, answering questions, and doing basically everything defense attorneys recommend you do not do. This is a regular occurrence on Law & Order, almost every episode involves a police taking a statement.
While you may think it is good to defend your innocence from the beginning, every criminal defense attorney will tell you that it is never a good idea to give a statement to police. Attorneys will tell you that it is not a matter of your innocence, but a matter of smart legal strategy.
Police encounters can be divided into three categories: (1) conversations, (2) interviews (after you’ve been detained), and (3) interrogations. In all of these encounters, you are under no obligation to answer questions other than providing your name. Police can use information as part of their investigation. In an interview or interrogation, you must explicitly state you will give your statement at a later time, and wish to speak with an attorney.
Speak to a Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, it is so important that you contact a knowledgeable and experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer immediately. Time is of the essence. In number situations, we have been able to prevent police from filing charges in the first place, or have been able to quickly get existing charges dropped. We can also help with securing bail after an arrest or negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor, if you are being charged with a criminal offense.
Law Enforcement Complaints and Investigation
Police questioning and law enforcement encounters can originate a number of ways. If police respond to a report of a crime, or you are pulled over at a routine traffic stop, their investigation may begin immediately. If someone files a complaint about you, you might be approached to answer questions.
This could be from state or local police officers, Joint Terrorism Task Force members, or FBI federal agents, Department of Homeland Security (including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Naval Criminal Investigative Service, or other agencies.
You Have the Constitutional Right to Remain Silent
Always remember that you have the right to remain silent, and you cannot be punished for refusing to answer a question (only a judge can order you to answer a question). Nevada does have “stop-and-identify” laws in place, which require you to identify yourself. If you are driving a car, you are legally required to present proof of your identity. But other than providing your name, you can refuse to answer questions and wait to consult with an attorney.
At LV Criminal Defense, attorney Nick Wooldridge and his team are passionate about helping individuals protect their rights. We exclusively handle criminal cases and will do everything possible to ensure your future is impacted as little as possible.