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  • Writer's pictureJay Ingrum

Plead the 5th: Navigating Police Interrogations with Legal Savvy

Legal Lens: Viewing Law Through Ingrum Expertise



What do I do if a police officer asks me questions about a possible crime? - Ingrum Law


Every attorney is approached for legal advice on some issue at every party, gathering, or family event they attend. That is just fact of life for attorneys. We come to expect such questions. A regular question that I have received is this: What do I do if a police officer asks me questions about a possible crime? My best advice to everyone in this situation is to invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent.


You don't have to talk to the police. They cannot make you talk to them. Typically, you will not be able to talk your way out of trouble, and usually you will talk yourself into more trouble. If you invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent, then it must be an unequivocal invocation of that right. In other words, you can't say you want to remain silent and then start talking once again, especially after you have been given your Miranda warnings pursuant to the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona. Just politely state to the police that you are not making any statements to the police without your attorney present, and then be quiet. Once you have hired an experienced criminal defense attorney and once you have talked to him or her, then you can rely on their advice as to whether or not it would be in your best interest to talk to the police at some later time. However, this interaction will be set up at a place, date, and time certain. Your attorney will be there with you, and you will have some assurance that you will benefit in some way by waiving your 5th Amendment right to remain silent.


Plead the 5th, seek experienced counsel, and then and only then consider talking to the police. You will certainly be glad that you did because you will have avoided possibly making a terrible mistake that you cannot undo later.

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