The Importance of Protecting Your Right to Silence: Why Criminal Solicitors Advise Against Speaking to the Police
Facing criminal charges can be a stressful, intimidating and overwhelming experience. You may find that the most common advice given by criminal solicitors is to avoid speaking to the police voluntarily during police questioning, and there are many reasons why.
Here is why protecting your right to silence is always recommended.
Do you have the Right to Silence in Queensland?
Your Right to Silence is important and it is substantiated in Queensland law. Under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (QLD), individuals have the right to remain silent in police interviews.
This right is a crucial aspect of the criminal justice system, as it protects defendants from self-incrimination.
However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to the right to silence. Under the act, police have to power to ask basic questions used to establish a person's identity, this includes both your state name and address. If a defendant refuses to answer these types of questions, they may be liable to legal consequences. Furthermore, if you provide the police with a false name or address you will be charged with an offence containing a maximum penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment.
Pressure To Participate
Those subject to police questioning may feel pressured to participate in police interviews – setting aside their legal right to silence. This could be due to the common assumption that cooperating with police assists in proving innocence.
However, criminal solicitors and lawyers will advise against participating in such interviews, as there are significant risks involved. Furthermore, making admissions to the police significantly decreases your chance of having your charges withdrawn.
Why a Voluntary Statement to Police Is Not Recommended
There are many risks that come with participating in police interviews.
Firstly – you could inadvertently say something that can be used against you in court, or you could admit to a secondary activity that you were unaware had legal consequences.
Secondly - Police are experts at questioning – utilising various techniques to extract information from suspects and construe their statements in a bad light. When your job, future and liberty are at stake, it is best to protect your right to silence.
Why Protecting Your Right to Silence Is Best
Given the risks associated with participating in a police interview, it is best to protect your right to silence.
There is no benefit to confessing in a police interview, and furthermore your silence cannot be used as evidence against you. By remaining silent, and protecting your rights, you can avoid incriminating yourself and potentially facing legal consequences.
The Advice of Criminal Lawyers
Criminal solicitors advise against speaking to the police and participating in an interview process, as there are significant risks involved. This includes unknowingly admitting to a secondary offence or making admissions that may negatively impact your defence in court.
By remaining silent and seeking legal representation, defendants can protect their rights and potentially avoid legal consequences.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to contact a criminal lawyer for guidance on how to proceed. We are here to help.
Contact Creevey Horrell Criminal Lawyers
Based in Brisbane, Roma, Toowoomba and Townsville.
Visit www.chcriminallawyers.com.au/contact-us to contact us today.