ADVICE TO Citizens WHEN QUESTIONED BY POLICE

This information is for citizens and is not intended to be any legal advice but to inform citizens of the problems they face when they come in contact with Police who are questioning them about a serious crime .

Any questions about this should be discussed with your lawyer . Due to the ruling  in Texas, Salinas v Texas, the law has changed regarding the right to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution by remaining  silent when questioned by the Police. Just not answering a police officers questions and remaining silent does not protect your right to the Fifth Amendment, you must specifically invoke your right to remain silent.

The advice that an attorney has told you in the past:

“don’t answer any questions if the Police contact you.”

Is not sufficient now to rely upon the Fifth Amendment to protect your right to speak to the Police. Some advice an attorney may tell you in the event of a DWI stop , once the alcohol questions below start may be proper:

“If I am free to leave , I would like to leave?”

If the answer is that you are not free to leave then the following would be a good answer:

“I will not answer any questions or take any tests with out my lawyer present”.

You should then remain silent to any questioning and if you say anything insist on having your lawyer present.  You have the right to refuse the road side tests. As to the request to take the breath test it is best just to say : “I would like to consult with  my lawyer and I will do what he says”. Although this will be taken by the officer as a refusal a jury may think this is a proper request .