If you are the target or subject of a criminal investigation, it is critical that you do not speak with any law enforcement agent or officer before consulting with an attorney. An experienced Pensacola Criminal Lawyer at Steven W. Bowden, Attorney at Law can help you navigate this often complex and confusing process.
As our Pensacola and Escambia County criminal defense lawyers know, the Constitutions of both the United States of America and the State of Florida afford you the right to remain silent. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies routinely attempt to get suspects to offer recorded statements regarding their involvement in the alleged crime being investigated. In most cases, you have absolutely nothing to gain by giving a statement to law enforcement. It is the government’s responsibility to prove the charges against you; it is not their job to trick you into potentially giving a self-detrimental statement under duress.
By giving a statement to a police officer, you are not only waiving a fundamental Constitutional right, but you are also making it easier for the government to prove your guilt. In a significant number of cases, without your statement or cooperation, the government may not have a case at all and thus might drop the charges against you. Do not be afraid to exercise your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Never give law enforcement officers or agents permission or consent to search you, your home, your car or any of your belongings. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution mandates that law enforcement obtain a search warrant or conduct searches by way of a recognizable warrant exception (incident to lawful arrest, inventory searches, etc.). By consenting to a search, as ourPensacola and Escambia County criminal defense lawyers know, you are helping law enforcement build their case against you and eliminating some crucial defenses that may exist, which could lead to dismissal or reduction of your charges. Many people often think that by allowing law enforcement officers to search their person or property, they are demonstrating innocence and transparency; unfortunately, police officers just use such transparency as a way to build a stronger case against you.
The Fifth Amendment (United States Constitution)
“No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
The Fourth Amendment (United States Constitution)
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”