Whitney and Schowalter Defense Attorneys

Law Enforcement

Be aware of your rights


You are never required to talk to law enforcement

Contrary to popular opinion, or to what we may have been taught, you do not have to talk to the police.  If law enforcement wishes to question you, you may exercise your fundamental Constitutional rights to either remain silent (not talk to law enforcement), or to have a lawyer present when this questioning occurs.

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, you cannot be penalized for exercising these fundamental rights.  You may invoke your fundamental rights at any time, even after questioning has already begun.  You must be clear and unequivocal that you are exercising these rights. 

You may refuse to consent to a search of your car or your home

We have all been raised to respect authority figures, and many times it seems outright wrong to say no to a police officer.  However, the federal and Colorado Constitutions protect a citizen’s right to have their personal areas, including their vehicles and homes from being searched without a warrant, or under other very specific legal exceptions.  If a police officer asks you to consent to have your personal space searched, you have the right to say no.