OWI: Maintaining Silence

How do you maintain your silence when they are asking your questions?  An officer has to honor your request to talk to a lawyer and to remain silent.  That is your constitutional right.  You have the right under the 5th Amendment to not be a witness against yourself, and you have the right under the 6th Amendment to the assistance of counsel.  Be prepared however since the officer is not going to take your silence as a friendly gesture.  Some officers view silence as an admission of guilt.  Many officers view the constitution as an obstruction to justice and some have the view that the “end justifies the means.”  Those officers do not care if you’re constitutional rights are violated.  They do not like it when people do not respect their authority and refuse to answer their questions.  They threaten to file additional charges, such as Interference with Official Acts for refusing to answer their questions.  Even if you do not answer their questions and do not take their “tests”, they will still charge you with OWI.  If you have decided, either on your own or through the advice of an attorney, to remain silent then you need to stick to your guns.  If you initially decide to remain silent, which then draws the officer’s anger, and you decide to talk about your charge, you are then in the worst situation which is making statements about your charge in additional to having an angry cop.  Most officers will honor your request and fill out their paperwork as long as you sit quietly.  If you do initially indicate that you are going to remain silent, you can not decide to ask questions and expect the officer to talk to you.  All of your questions should go to your lawyer, not the officer.

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