Way back in May of 2008 I linked a very interesting video that was done by an attorney, at this post. Unfortunately the link is now dead.
In essence, the attorney was pleading with people to protect their fifth amendment rights by NOT speaking with the police after an incident unless you have your attorney present, ever. In the video there was a police officer who also said that you should never speak with the cops without an attorney present even if you are IN THE RIGHT.
The attorney said that even if you are in the right, things you tell the police can get twisted and turned around (intentionally, or not), and could incriminate you.
I was thinking of this as the Tiger Woods situation unfolded. I will never know what really happened outside of Mr. Woods’s house in those early morning hours last week. But as I was reading coverage on it I kept seeing that the police kept wanting to come to his house to ask him questions and they were denied. Florida law only states that in this type of investigation that Woods give his license, registration and proof in insurance and apparently that is all that he gave. Finally, Mr. Woods hired an attorney.
It is possible that Mr. Woods hired an attorney right after the incident and got good advice not to speak to the cops, but this episode is a great example of someone who clearly knew his rights and decided to exercise them. Any interview with the police would have hurt Mr. Woods, even though he might have done nothing wrong and just merely had an accident.
Update: Commenter Andrew has a link to the video here.