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Criminal defense and understanding your Miranda rights

One question that we are consistently asked at The Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson is: “Do I have to talk to police and answer questions even if I do or do not feel comfortable doing so?” The answer is, was, and always will be a resounding “NO!” Because of how tricky our criminal justice system can be, it is never advisable to speak with law enforcement without an attorney by your side. Police know the rules and they can trick you into incriminating yourself, even when you think you have all the right answers. It is important that you never make this mistake because officers can use what you have said against you in court. Speaking to law enforcement, in truth, can never really help your case. Although police and investigators may make it seem like if you cooperate they will be more lenient, the truth is that they will say just about anything, even use scare tactics, to get you to tell them what they want to hear. In fact, police officers don’t have the authority to grant you leniency even if they wanted. In addition, police may use what you say in an effort to practice their testimony in court against you. And, regardless of popular belief, those magic words “off the record” do not exist in front of a judge. You could essentially be confessing to a crime you never committed if you say the wrong thing or misuse words. Remember your Miranda rights. You always have the right to remain silent, regardless of what you are asked under the pressure of a police officer dangling handcuffs in front of your face. In fact, there are few things that you are required to submit, such as your driver’s license, your name, birthday, and your address-and that is ONLY if you have been placed under arrest (unless you are pulled over while driving, in which case you must provide your license and insurance information). If you are brought in for questioning and officers want to know specifics about a particular case, it is your right to simply tell them that you will not agree to say anything until you have first consulted with your attorney. We have come upon hundreds of cases where suspects will fold under questioning and voluntarily submit to accusations for fear of going to jail when officers threaten to book them. If you have been charged with a crime that you know you did not commit, or even if you were involved and think that your cooperation will render leniency, please call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson first and explain what police officers have said to you and what they are charging you with before speaking with them further. Call The Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson today at (412) 281-3380 and exercise your right to legal counsel before making a mistake that could land you in jail.

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