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5 Big Reasons NOT To Talk To Cops

5 Big Reasons NOT To Talk To Cops

As a Washington State criminal defense attorney, I often meet with clients after they have been arrested and charged with a crime and more often than not, they have said too much to the arresting officer, which in turn can make their case more challenging.  As a defense attorney I am on my clients side and I want my clients to save themselves, thus I always advise my clients to be respectful to police but not to talk to police, keep quiet, and here are the reasons why:

5 Big Reasons NOT To Talk To Cops

1.  Talking to the police will not convince them of your innocence.  Some people think that if they tell the officers they are not guilty of a crime that the officer will believe their story and let them go.  Wrong, that does not happen, the officer already has some reasonable cause for thinking you have committed a crime and sharing your side of the story will only lead to serious risks of saying incriminating statements.  For example; “Officer I’m not drunk, I only had a few drinks with food and that was hours ago, I’m fine, I was driving safely .”  That individual just told the officer that they consumed alcohol and now “I only had a few drinks” will be used against the individual during the prosecution of their DUI charge.  Talking will not set you free!

2.  Remaining silent does not mean you are guilty.  Often people believe that not talking to law enforcement means they are admitting they are guilty.  False, by not talking does not mean you are guilty, it just means you have chosen to exercise your constitutional right to remain silent.  You have the right to remain silent!

3.  There is no benefit from admitting your guilt.  Confessing your guilt of a crime to a police officer has no benefit.  In fact an individual who confesses their crime to an officer will face a longer and harsher sentence than an individual who did not confess guilt and let their criminal defense attorney do the talking for them.   It is much more difficult for a defense attorney to negotiate a plea bargain for an individual that has confessed to an officer of their guilt.  Again, it is in a person’s best interest to remain quiet.

4.  Cops embellish and exaggerate.  Unfortunately, cops don’t write their police reports from an unbiased perspective, they write their reports from their own perspective.  And more often than not, cops will embellish or exaggerate their reports to make themselves and their arrest appear more legitimate, which in turn makes the accused appear more guilty.  For example; if a person arrested for domestic violence tells a cop, “I accidentally knocked over the table lamp.” the cop could embellish that statement in his report by writing “when I walked into the house I observed broken glass all over the floor, of which the outraged perpetrator admitted he smashed the table lamp on the ground” which paints a much more aggressive picture than what was originally said.  In a police report, the cop will look like the good guy and the person charged with a crime will look like the bad guy.  If you don’t talk, a cop cannot exaggerate on your statements.

5.  The more times you tell a story, the harder it becomes to tell it the same.  It is nearly impossible to retell a story exactly how you told it the first time, even if it is the truth.  The more times you tell a story the more versions you create.  If you told your story to the arresting officer you better bet the officer wrote down what you said in their police report.  Now imagine your case has gone to trial where you will have to tell your story again, but under stress, in front of an audience, and with a lot of serious consequences on the line, it would be very tough to tell your story exactly how you told the arresting officer.  And once you deviate from your original story, the prosecuting attorney will attack, trying to discredit you and make you look like a liar.  Thus the moral of story telling is save your story for your criminal defense attorney, let your attorney talk for you, and don’t talk to cops!



This blog was inspired by the November 2014 Issue of Washington Criminal Defense, article entitled, “Top 10 reasons why you should never talk to cops!” written by Wade S. Samuelson and Professor James J. Duane.

Learn More About DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

Learn More About DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

David O has been a criminal defense attorney since 2003 representing clients charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes.   He has dedicated his whole legal career to criminal defense because of his desire to help people.  He believes it is a privilege to practice law and even more so when given the opportunity to help a person with a challenging criminal case.   What sets him apart from the rest of the criminal defense lawyers, is his focus on achieving optimal case results while having the ability to provide his clients with empathy and compassion. Additionally, DUI and criminal defense attorney, David O wants to get the right result for each client no matter how long it takes.  He takes pride in serving his clients well.  David understands providing excellent service and getting results require hard work, an attention to detail, and preparation. He has proven to be a valuable asset to his clients, successfully defending them in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, and throughout Central and Western Washington.

David started his legal career volunteering for a public defense agency, Northwest Defender’s Association, as a criminal defense attorney. From 2004-2008, David was employed as a criminal defense attorney in a private law firm handling both felony and misdemeanor cases. In 2008, David opened his own criminal law practice, David O Defense.

DUI and criminal defense lawyer, David O has been recognized by Washington Law and Politics as a “Rising Star.”   He is highly rated and reviewed on Yelp, Google and AVVO. He has been awarded the Pro Bono Service Commendation by the Washington State Bar Association from 2007-2009. He also serves on the Korean American Bar Association (KABA) as an active board member.

This past weekend, David spoke at the KABA Legal Seminar about criminal defense law.  The purpose of this legal seminar was, “To provide Korean foreign nationals and Korean Americans with foundational information regarding the American legal system and laws, to raise the collective legal IQ of the Korean community, and to reduce common and preventable legal mistakes.”

Currently attorney David O is writing about criminal defense law.  His writing focuses on the legal process of defending criminal cases, explaining the different types of criminal charges, describing the different degrees of criminal charges, as well as what an individual should do if they are charged with a crime.  His work will be published in a collective legal journal to be utilized by individuals for educational purposes and as a legal reference guide.

In short, DUI and criminal defense attorney, David O is passionate about criminal defense law.  He truly enjoys helping people, giving back to the community, and fighting criminal cases.  If you would like to speak to attorney David O, give him a call at 206-459-6392.


DUI Case Dismissed in May 2013 – Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

DUI Case Dismissed in May 2013 – Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

In this DUI case, my client (“MC”) was arrested for driving under the influence in Snohomish county.  The state trooper stopped MC’s vehicle for allegedly “not having working license plate lights” and nothing else.  After a brief DUI investigation, the trooper arrested MC for DUI (driving under the influence).

RCW 46.37.020 mandates vehicles to display lighted headlights and other lights after sunset or before sunrise and at any other time when persons and vehicles on the highway would not be clearly discernible at a distance of one thousand feet.  This statute is relevant because it would determine by law when lights are required on a vehicle while driving and in what type of conditions.

RCW 46.37.050(3) states: “Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear…”  This statute is relevant because it specifically relates to a vehicle’s license plate and some facts related to my case.

My evaluation of MC’s DUI case; the trooper had no basis to stop MC’s car.  However, the state prosecutor didn’t agree with me.  I never take it personal when a prosecutor does not agree with me because, at times, I know they are just doing their “duty.”  So, I set MC’s DUI case for a motion hearing.  A motion hearing is a hearing similar to a trial but without a jury. There is no waiver of a jury trial for this type of hearing.  It’s a hearing where testimony will be provided by witnesses and legal issues presented to a judge.  After hearing all the issues the judge will decide and make certain rulings.

Fortunately for MC, the judge agreed with my argument and dismissed MC’s DUI case!  The judge decided the trooper did not have a reasonable basis to stop MC’s vehicle.  As MC criminal defense attorney, I put a lot of time and energy reviewing police reports, Washington State laws, interviewing witnesses and presenting my findings to the judge in a persuasive manner.  MC was very pleased his DUI was dismissed!