[by Mark J. Sullivan, Criminal Defense Attorney, Riverside County CA] This article might just as well been titled “You have the right to remain silent. Use it. Say nothing.”
This doesn’t mean “Deny having committed the crime.” It means telling the police officer that your attorney has advised you not to answer any questions, and then saying nothing else to anybody until you talk to him or her.
Recently I was giving this advice to a potential witness, and he said, “I’ll just tell them that I don’t know anything.”
This is wrong. For one thing, he did know something, so this would have been a lie. I may have wanted that witness to testify at the trial. A competent prosecutor would have discredited the witness by showing that at one point, he’d told the police he didn’t know anything, and at trial he was trying to convince the jury that he did know something.
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