What do I tell the Police?

One’s constitutional right to silence is not an all or nothing proposition.  I regularly advise individuals who have been arrested or detained to provide the police with some information, that is, biographical information (name, address, date of birth, etc.), but advise them to give no further information than this. And the right to silence does not preclude an accused from giving a statement to police if he wishes, and later deciding not to give evidence at trial. And while I am a fan of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, I disagree with him that “innocence never takes advantage of [the right to remain silent]; innocence claims the right of speaking as guilt invokes the privilege of silence.”There is a time for the accused to tell his version of events.  That time, in my opinion, is often not the time of the police interview. Though I recognize that there will be rare occasions when there are compelling case-specific reasons for not exercising the right to silence after providing the police with what is known as “tombstone data”.Prior Inconsistent StatementsThe Crown has the opportunity to attempt to impeach the individual’s credibility by showing inconsistency between the evidence the individual gave at trial and the information he/she provided in a statement to police (assuming the statement is admissible).  Even if innocent, I am not sure why one would run that risk.In R. v. Carlos, 2016 ONCA 920 the Court of Appeal for Ontario saw no merit in the Appellant’s contention that that the Crown had breached the appellant’s right to silence by asking him questions as to why, during his police statement, he did not tell the police officer certain things that he said at trial. The Crown’s