There’s and old saying; I’m sure you’ve heard it. “Loose lips sink ships.” It an old adage about keeping your mouth shut so the enemy can’t find you, and destroy you. As a criminal defense attorney I am amazed at the number of people who find it compelling to talk to law enforcement about their cases with the hopes of them “dropping the charges.” And with the recent developments of Tiger Woods and his refusal to speak with law enforcement about his accident, I am amazed at the number of “legal experts” who are going on the record saying that Tiger should have spoken with the police. WHAT?! Are you serious? A legal expert said that? Yeah, maybe a prosecutor! Every prosecutor loves a confession. It makes their job so much easier! (Not that it wasn’t easy enough to begin with).
Anyway, my law partner recently watched these so called “legal experts” and was appalled by their “come hither and tell me your secrets” attitude. It kind of reminds me of Kaa, the snake, in Jungle Book, hypnotizing young Mowgli saying “trusssst in meeee…” as he slowly wraps himself around him, to crush him and eat him. However, she was greatly with impressed with the Today Show’s legal reporter Dan Abrams for sticking up for the Constitution and the Right to Remain Silent. So much in fact, she drafted an email to the show:
As a criminal defense lawyer, I am shocked and dismayed to see the parade of so-called legal experts declaring that Tiger Woods made the wrong decision by choosing not to talk to police about the accident at his home. With the exception of Dan Abrams (go Dan!), I have not heard anyone assert the very important fact that Tiger and every other individual in America have the absolute right NOT to talk to authorities. In thirteen years of criminal practice, I have never seen a situation where making a statement to police led to anything positive. Law enforcement leads the general public to believe that they will not file or will drop the charges “if you just explain.” This is far from true. Rather, if they didn’t have enough evidence to charge you before, you just gave it to them by talking. I wish more of my clients would follow Tiger’s example and exercise their constitutional right to remain silent!
Lia Fazzone, Esq.
Way to go Lia!
So, what can we learn from all of this? It used to be patriotic to keep your mouth shut. So, just follow Uncle Sam’s advice: