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What should I do if police want to question me?

Under both the United States and Utah constitutions, you have a privilege against self incrimination. That means that in almost all circumstances, you can invoke your Fifth Amendment protections and refuse to answer police questions. In many cases, remaining silent will be to your advantage. But there are possible exceptions when speaking with police can help your situation. Before deciding whether to speak with a police officer, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Stephen Howard is a criminal defense lawyer who has handled literally thousands of serious criminal cases - more than most Utah attorneys will see in their entire careers. His experience includes charges ranging from aggravated murder to DUI, and virtually everything in between. As a result, he is well-qualified to help you decide how to handle a police request for an interview or questioning. Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation.

The Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent

There is a natural human desire to want to be heard and understood. It is common for a person who is called in by police for questioning to believe that if they can only explain their side of the story, the police will understand the situation. But what more often happens is that police engage the principle of "anything you say can and will be used against you."

As a general rule, police officers and detectives are typically not inclined to interrogate individuals that are believed to be innocent. Police do sometimes interview witnesses who are not suspected of any illegal activity. But there are sometimes very fine distinctions between an innocent witness and a criminal suspect. Before speaking with police, it is adviseable to consult first with an experienced criminal attorney.

In some cases, it will make sense to agree to an interview with police - even when the subject of the interview is a suspect in the police investigation and even if the subject of the interview is in fact guilty of a crime. But these situations are generally few and far between. The safer practice is to politely decline a police invitation to answer questions, and instead inform the officer that that based on information from an attorney, you will be invoking your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and are refusing to answer any questions until your attorney is present. Only after consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer and discussing teh specific facts and details of your situation can you make a fully-informed decision as to whether or not it is in your best interest to speak to the police.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerIf you have been contacted by police with a request for an interview, if you have been stopped by police and face questioning, or if you have received a subpoena to testify in court, consutlation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is strongly advised so that you can understand your Fifth Amendment rights and how they can protect you. Contact us today to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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