Silence Is Golden

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

A client, not yet charged, asked me the other day what she should tell the police if they called. The answer, of course, is “nothing.”

But won’t that make them suspicious, she asked, afraid if she failed to seem cooperative, that might piss off the police. This is not a factor: police are permanently pissed off from what they have to see and do every day.

Police will not feel friendly toward you if you start telling them stuff. Not unless you enjoy your friends slapping handcuffs on you (save that for your other friends). Police don’t want you to tell them things so they can rule you out as a suspect. They are ONLY interested in ruling you IN.

So say nothing if you are facing possible arrest, even when you think it impossible that you could be arrested.

Beyond that, when you are charged with or suspected of a crime, that is not the time to tell dinner stories. Say nothing about it, not just to police and prosecutors, but to anyone. Not your mom, not your brother, not your aunt, not your best friend. Police and prosecutors have a way of calling these people “witnesses.” Don’t talk to your spouse about it: spousal privilege doesn’t extend to all the people your spouse can’t help telling, and all the people those people can’t help telling. Don’t even talk to your dog; dogs have a much larger vocabulary than most people realize.

Bottom line when you’re arrested? Just. Shut. It.

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