I have been practicing law in the State of Florida for over twenty years. In that time, I have found that some of the most basic constitutional rights that we share in our free society are ones nobody seems to remember. They are so simple and so important that for the past ten years they have been imprinted on the back of my business card.
The back of my business card states the following:
IF CONFRONTED BY THE POLICE – READ:
- I do not consent to answer any questions.
- I do not consent to a search of my property or myself.
- If I am free to leave. I wish to leave now.
- If not, I wish to speak with my attorney.
By stating these rights you are basically holding up the U.S. Constitution to any law enforcement agent by shouting “I want my 5 th Amendment rights!” You are stopping the police from gathering and using your own evidence against yourself. These rights were so important to our founding fathers of our Country that they put them in the top five Amendments. If they were that important to them over two hundred and thirty years ago, don’t you think that they should be that important to you?
I currently represent a client who is facing a very long stretch in jail. Had he simply stated these rights, he would not be looking at many years in prison. Had he invoked his rights, The State of Florida would have no evidence to use against him. Not consenting to a search or by not answering any questions may be the difference in whether the State can charge you with a crime. Whether the State tries to put you in jail, or whether you become a convicted criminal. You don’t have to remember your 5th Amendment Rights, but at the very least, remember to not say or do anything without talking to an experienced Orlando criminal attorney first!