Do you remember watching shows growing up where the protagonists encountered the dangerous threat of quicksand? Inevitably, someone would start panicking and moving quickly to stay on the surface, only to sink further into the quicksand until someone rescued them.
“Where are you going with this? I don’t think we even have quicksand in Wisconsin…”
First of all, the possibility of quicksand exists in every state. More importantly, this quicksand scenario is helpful to remember if you are ever accused of a crime, arrested, or questioned by law enforcement. In this analogy, you are the personal flailing in the quicksand, and your attorney is the calm rescuer.
The quickest way to sink is to keep talking. No matter what brilliant response you think you have to an officer or investigator’s questions, you are only hurting yourself by speaking it out loud without your attorney.
“But what if it’s a simple misunderstanding and I have evidence to prove my story?”
Show it to your attorney and let them handle all interactions with law enforcement and prosecutors.
“Look, I know my rights. So I don’t have to say anything that I think is self-incriminating.”
Close, but no cigar. What you don’t know can and will hurt you. Things you think of as innocent facts could severely damage your defense. You truly have nothing to gain and everything to lose by trying to talk your way out of an arrest or an indictment. Whether you are pulled over on suspicion of OWI or face assault allegations, nothing you have to say is worth the risk of sinking your case into the quicksand of the criminal justice system.