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“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”

Does that sound familiar?

You might have heard it on one of those television crime dramas, but it exists for a reason: to protect you from law enforcement agents that will do anything to obtain a confession. Still, you didn’t do anything wrong. There’s nothing to hide—you feel like you can answer every question with honesty because the truth always prevails.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in the legal system. Despite telling the truth, despite telling them what to you seems like harmless information, it can and will be used against you.

First and foremost, you should always refuse to answer any question until you speak with a lawyer. They are the only ones who can save you from self-incrimination and coerced confessions—two common ways innocent people end up being suspects in a criminal investigation.

Visualize yourself as the assistant manager at a bank. Your boss has been laundering money behind everyone’s back, including you. Then, you receive a grand jury subpoena asking you to testify in court. You deny taking part in this criminal activity and inform them that you were just following orders.

You just made a huge mistake.

Because you provided details about your relationship between you and your boss, prosecutors may have enough reasons to believe you are a suspect. All of this could have been avoided if you had invoked your 5th Amendment right from the beginning.

The best course of action is never to assume everything you say is off the record or kept between you and the officer. Tell the agent you don’t want to be interviewed before speaking with a lawyer and, most importantly, refrain from giving false information. Lying to the police is a serious criminal offense.

If law enforcement is questioning you or asking you to provide evidence, give us a call right away. Our experts will make sure you have the chance to tell your side of the story.

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