Speaking With Law Enforcement in Henrico County

The following is taken from an interview with a Henrico County criminal lawyer who discusses what you should know when questioned by law enforcement in Virginia. To learn more about your legal rights regarding law enforcement, schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

If I Tell An Officer, “I Want To Speak With An Attorney” Does That Imply Guilt?

Asking to speak with an attorney in no way implies guilt and it cannot be used against you. It is a Fifth Amendment right that you cannot be required to self-incriminate. So you have a right to protect yourself at all times regarding these sorts of statements. That is what we try to advise all our clients that you don’t have to speak with law enforcement whether you are guilty or innocent and you can only benefit from invoking your right to remain silent and waiting to speak with an attorney.

If You Don’t Consent To A Search Does That Imply Guilt?

Also not consenting to a search in no way implies guilt. If there is no probable cause to search your property you are under no obligation to give consent to an officer to allow them to search despite what they may say that it will help your case out or you have got nothing to hide, things like that nature it is your right to decline. It will require law enforcement officers to obtain a search warrant to search whether be it your home or your vehicle.

When Can I Contact An Attorney During A Criminal Process In Henrico?

In Henrico you can contact an attorney in most cases after you have gone before a magistrate and been officially charged.  At this time they will afford you the opportunity to make a phone call. If it is an issue where the defendant is either intoxicated or under the influence they will wait until that individual is either sober or more cognizant of what they are doing before they allow you to make a call.

Why Speak To An Attorney Before I Am Even Charged?

If contacted by police it is imperative to speak with an attorney for a number of reasons. First it is to understand what your rights are.

Do I have the right to remain silent? Can I refuse to answer some questions and not others?  You need to understand your rights the possible harm you could cause yourself. By speaking with law enforcement prior to speaking with an attorney you could incriminate yourself and make matters worse.  Next, it is best to sit down with an attorney and discuss how speaking with law enforcement could benefit you. In other words, is information what law enforcement wants and could your cooperation benefit you and result in a reduction of your charges or possible immunity from prosecution.

So What Are The Most Important Things For Someone To Know If They Are Being Questioned By Police?

When you are questioned by police it is important to know your rights against self incrimination. You do not have to give a statement to the police. You don’t have to admit to anything. If at any time you feel threatened or pressured you can cut the conversation off immediately and walk out the door unless you are already under arrest. If already under arrest you can simply refuse to speak and demand to speak with an attorney.

You also need to know from the police what sort of information they are seeking and if you are a suspect.  Are they just trying to get information about an event through you or are they actually trying to get information about you in hopes of prosecuting you?

Criminal Enforcement in Henrico County