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May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 357 obliged to talk to you. They are not obliged to tell you why your client has been arrested. They are obliged to give that information to the detainee. If the officer cannot or refuses to tell you the reason for the arrest, advise the officer that the detainee is unclear about the reason why he has been arrested. You should suggest to the police that they may wish to tell him again why he has been arrested or detained. The police, of course, are not obliged to follow any suggestions you make. If the detainee is still unclear as to why he has been detained or arrested, tell him to go and ask a police officer. Tell him that once he finds that out, he should call you back or get further legal advice. Tell him that you are not giving him any legal advice because you do not know what charge he is facing. Tell him that he has not received legal advice and therefore he should ask to talk to a lawyer again to get that advice once he has been told clearly why he is being detained. Make notes of all of this. If the detainee has been arrested for murder or another serious offence as opposed to a break and enter or a minor theft, that will be important to you. It will give you some idea for which techniques the police may use to get him to talk. Once you have resolved why he has been detained, I suggest you start by telling your client the following: (1) You have the right not to speak to the police. In other words, you are not required to speak to them under any circumstances. You have the absolute right to remain silent. And my advice to you is not to speak to the police. (2) If the police want to interrogate you, tell them that you are exercising your right to silence. Or, you can tell them that you “will not and do not want to talk to them” or words to that effect. Be very clear in what you are saying to them: “I do not want to talk to you.” (3) If the police want to interrogate you it is because they want to get information from you that they can use against you. Nothing you say to the police will result in your being released from custody. DO NOT TALK TO THEM. (4) Even if you choose to say to the police that you are not involved in what they are investigating or you say to the police something to the effect of “I don’t know what you are talking about,” the police may use those statements against you. My advice to you is to exercise your right to silence and not talk to them. Tell them that you do not want to talk to them and then after you have told them that, do not say another word other than to repeat, “I do not want to talk to you.”


May Advocate 2017
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