Keeping Your Mouth Shut – Avoiding Criminal Liability

In many cases, the first piece of advice you’ll get from a Wake County criminal lawyer is that you should “keep your mouth shut.” This advice is not universal, and it depends on the facts of  your case. So talk to any attorney for specific advice about your facts.

However, the Tiger Woods incident from last week generally goes to the point that “keeping your mouth shut” is usually a wise idea. In cases where the police don’t have evidence that you have committed a crime, but suspect you may have, making statements to the police may incriminate you by either showing that you had the opportunity to commit the crime or that there are inconsistencies in your story.

While no one is exactly sure what Tiger Woods told police, it’s a pretty safe bet that by saying less, rather than more, he was able to avoid criminal liability.

In some cases, criminal liability is unavoidable. But in some cases, it can be avoided by being cooperative – “I’d love to talk to you, Officer, about this matter” but insisting on having a lawyer present – “But my lawyer has told me to have him present during any questioning.”

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.