In a recent interview, top criminal attorney Saul Bienenfeld founding partner at Bienenfeld Law in New York, NY, revealed the his defense strategy for a drug charge and warned against talking to police in a drug crime case. —
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When asked to comment, Bienenfeld said, “If you’ve been arrested or been brought into the station for questioning about a drug crime case, the best thing to do is to let your legal representation communicate on your behalf with law enforcement.”
That said, there are two things that you should do when dealing with police officers.
When asked to elaborate, Bienenfeld said, “Remember that you have the right to remain silent no matter whether you’ve been stopped on the street or have been brought into the station for questioning. The only two things you need to do is to give law enforcement your full and correct name and show them your identification.”
Bienenfeld added that you should remain polite and calm and state that you do not want to speak without an attorney present.
Once you clearly state that you’re not willing to talk, law enforcement will not try to get any more information out of you in nine out of ten cases, he commented.
The most important reason to keep silent around police officers – even if it’s just to correct a misunderstanding – is that it could harm your defense before your case even begins.
“When in police custody, a lot of people are tempted to explain their side of the story on the false assumption that law enforcement will drop the case. Many think that the police are on their side and will exonerate them. However, this is far from the truth,” Bienenfeld said.
He added that the main reason law enforcement conducts interviews is to gather information for probable cause to carry out an arrest or warrant to search someone’s home.
Another critical thing to keep in mind is to avoid putting anything in writing.
“Don’t sign anything given to you by the police and don’t put anything in writing when communicating with friends or family about your case including through emails and letters. Any written evidence can be collected by the police and used against you in the court of law,” he commented.
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