At Wallin & Klarich, we always tell our clients to NEVER speak to the police. Unfortunately, many individuals often make the terrible decision of speaking to the police despite our legal advice. In most cases, speaking to the police is a one-way ticket to jail time and a criminal record. The United States Supreme Court recently underscored this reality by ruling on a 5-4 vote that a prosecutor may introduce evidence at trial of your failure to answer the police’s questions after initially speaking to them.
Your silence may be used against you during trial
Have you ever wondered why each appointment to the United States Supreme Court is so important? If so, the case of Salinas v. Texas, 570 U.S.__ (2013) should clarify the answer. The five conservative Supreme Court justices ruled that if you fail to answer a police officer’s question(s), even without a lawyer present, your silence may be used against you at trial. The four liberal Supreme Court justices strongly disagreed with this holding. Similar to the lawyers at Wallin & Klarich, the liberal justices believe that you have a constitutional right to refuse police questioning without fear that your refusal to answer will be used against you at trial.
In Salinas, defendant Genovevo Salinas was under investigation for the alleged murder of two adult brothers. Salinas made the fatal mistake of voluntarily speaking to the police concerning the matter. Initially, he answered many of the police officer’s questions. However, when asked if the ballistics testing would match his shotgun to the shell casings found at the murder scene, Salinas fell silent. The prosecutor was allowed to present this refusal to answer to the jury. Ultimately, the jury found him guilty of murder and Salinas appealed the verdict.
Remember to utter: “I refuse to answer any questions based upon my Fifth Amendment rights”
The majority of the US Supreme Court ruled that Salinas’s silence could be used against him because he did not assert his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The five conservative justices reasoned that Salinas did not properly assert his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent because he failed to utter the following phrase: “I refuse to answer any questions based upon my Fifth Amendment rights.” Stunned by the majority’s decision, the four liberal justices argued that the average person would not know what his or her “Fifth Amendment rights” were.
The moral of this story is simple: In 2013, speaking to the police may be one of the most devastating mistakes of your life.
Always remember this easy rule: If there is any chance that you may be suspected of a crime, you should NEVER speak to the police.
Speak to one of our experienced professionals today
Do not hesitate to contact our law offices. We will immediately take the necessary steps to protect you. Our attorneys will contact the police, notify them that we are representing you, and inform them that they are not to speak to you. We will provide you with our business card. If the police contact you, simply tell them that you do not wish to speak to them and hand them our card. Upset by your refusal to speak, the cops may try to force you into speaking with them. However, they know that you are represented by Wallin & Klarich and your silence will make it much more difficult for the prosecutor to convict you of a crime.
If you enjoy your freedom, employment, friends, and family, we suggest that you follow this very simple six-word guide:
SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP.
What can Wallin & Klarich do for you?
The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of criminal offenses. Our law firm approaches every case with the belief that the person we are defending could be one of our own family members. We have seen firsthand how stressful legal matters can be for our clients and their loved ones. We are committed to being available to our clients at all times – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Our offices are located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, Sherman Oaks, and Ventura. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245.
We will get through this together.