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Ways to Avoid Self-Incrimination While in Custody

by Aaron M. Black • February 11, 2021
Arrest in Phoenix, Arizona
If you have been arrested for committing a crime, then you are probably freaking out about the potential consequences of a conviction. While this is a natural response to being arrested, it is important to understand that you are in a vulnerable position in the present moment. Police officers can use anything you say or do to prosecute pending or future criminal charges. In fact, law enforcement officials are trained to get you to confess to or implicate yourself in crimes you may not have committed. Therefore, it is important for you to understand what self-incrimination means and how you can avoid it while in custody.

What Is a Self-Incriminating Statement?

A self-incriminating statement is any remark you make to law enforcement officers that can count against you during court. Statements or evidence you give to the police before, during and after your arrest could potentially serve as evidence to demonstrate your guilt. The only exception is when you are speaking to an attorney for the purposes of legal representation.  Whatever statements you make to a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, AZ are classified as privileged communications and cannot be used against you in court.

Common Examples of Self-Incrimination

Most people assume they would never do anything to jeopardize their criminal case. However, arrested individuals in Arizona make self-incriminating statements all the time. Many of these people have no idea they have said or done anything that could inadvertently hurt their case. If you are arrested for committing a criminal offense, then you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. However, it is important for you to keep the following things in mind to help you avoid self-incrimination while in custody.
  • Inmate phone calls are all recorded. With very few exceptions, the prosecution can use anything you say in those calls against you in court.
     
  • Any discussions, formal or informal, with police officers, jail and prison inmates, guards and other staff can serve as evidence against you in court.
     
  • While incarcerated, authorized personnel have the legal authority to intercept and document your mail correspondence.
In addition to the information presented above, you should also remember that you have the right to remain silent and obtain an attorney under the Fifth Amendment. You must explicitly tell the police that you are invoking your right to remain silent and wish to speak to an attorney. If you fail to do so, then anything you say “can and will be used against you in court.” You should only discuss the details of your case with your criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, AZ. Discussing your case with anyone else could strengthen the prosecution’s case against you and result in a criminal conviction.

Are You Facing Criminal Charges in Phoenix, AZ?

If so, then it is paramount that you invoke your right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment and speak to an attorney as soon as possible. He or she will assess the situation and let you know the best way to proceed. If your rights have been violated while in custody, then the State of Arizona may have to dismiss the charges against you.

At the Law Office of Aaron M. Black, PLLC, we aggressively represent our clients during the toughest moments of their lives. Criminal defense attorney Aaron Black has years of experience ensuring that the rights of people in custody are respected and fully enforced. If you or a loved one have been arrested for committing a criminal offense, then please do not hesitate to reach out. Give us a call today at (480) 729-1683 to schedule a free consultation. You can also send Aaron a message by filling out the online contact form on our website. We promise to respond to your request as quickly as possible and look forward to answering your questions in further detail.

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