The Four Most Important Words to Remember in Any Police Encounter

 “I want a lawyer”

These words are perhaps the four most important words to remember in any police encounter.

These four little words, when spoken, bring your sixth amendment right to an attorney into play. This is significant because once you raise the sixth amendment and have clearly expressed your desire for an attorney, all questions must stop immediately. You say those words and any interrogation, any questions from the police must come to a stop.

There is one other piece of advice that is just as vital to know. I strongly advise you to say those four words, and only those four words. The reason why I suggest this, is because how you request an attorney is nearly as important as the request itself. Here are a few real-life examples of unsuccessful attempts to use the sixth amendment:

“Maybe I should talk to a lawyer”

“Excuse me, if I am right, I can have a lawyer present through this, right? I think I would like to talk to a lawyer.”

“What time will I see a lawyer?”

“I think I want a lawyer”

“I can’t afford a lawyer, but is there any way that I can get one?”

“Could I call my lawyer?”

“Do you think I need a lawyer?”

Each of those statements were spoken by an individual suspected of a crime, attempting to invoke their sixth amendment right. Because police determined that these individuals weren’t clear or direct, or found that their language was ambiguous, they persisted with their line of questioning. While some of those requests could be interpreted as unclear, there