When a police officer has cause to search you – or your belongings, including your vehicle – you have nothing to worry about if you haven’t done anything wrong. That only makes sense. However, what if the cop finds something – like drugs or a weapon – and you contend the goods don’t belong to you? What are your rights as you attempt to proclaim your innocence?
If a scenario like this were to take place, the very first words out of the officer’s mouth will likely be something to the effect of “you have the right to remain silent.” If the cop is arresting you for possession of what illegal substance or object was found during the search, you will be read your Miranda Rights early on in the process.
Do yourself a favor: remain silent. Even if you are certain that whatever the cop found doesn’t really belong to you, it’s important to realize that you won’t be able to stop the course of events involved in the arrest. There will be time later, when you “lawyer up” and are represented by counsel, to try to explain your version of the story.
You may be thinking you are doing yourself a favor by trying to explain. After all, you reason, you have nothing to hide. Why would you need a lawyer? Why would you need to remain silent. Here’s why: because “anything you say can and will be used against in court.” Believe it. Anything you say can be taken out of context or misunderstood and, now, your plea of innocence begins to sound like an admission of guilt.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will listen to what you have to say and determine the best way to:
- Explain how the drugs/weapon came to be on you or your property
- Investigate who the real owner of the goods are and how they got into your possession or on your property;
- Obtain statements from others who can corroborate your story. Witnesses often play a role in the “I’m innocent” defense.
Finally, police must have a warrant to search your person, car or property – except in certain circumstances. If the drugs or weapon found were obtained during an illegal search, your lawyer may be able to get the evidence thrown out. No evidence? No case.
Contact the law firm of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC for sound legal advice and aggressive representation for your criminal charges.