WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE. PERIOD!
ADVICE FROM A FORMER PROSECUTOR: DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT A LAWYER! EVER!
When I was a prosecutor, the first thing I would ask when given a case was "did he say anything?" Nothing lights up a prosecutor’s face when he is faced with a difficult case and finds out the suspect talked.
I’ve seen it all too many times as a prosecutor. The police tell someone they need to have a friendly chat and get their side of the story. It won’t take long, and then they can leave. So, the person talks. Maybe because they didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe because they genuinely want to do the right thing and help the police solve a crime. And guess what happens? They get arrested.
If the police ever ask you to come to the police station or are stopping by your house “because they only have a couple questions for you” — that means one of two things:
1) You are a suspect;
2) You are a possible suspect.
Realize this: If you're not the victim of a crime, the police are not here to help you. And the law says that they can lie to you – as much as they want – if it gets you to confess. So, if you're not the victim of a crime, and the police want to talk to you to get your side of the story, you can't trust a thing they say.
The police will attempt to convince you that if you answer just a few questions, it will be the end of this matter. What they are really thinking is that “this guy’s guilty and we need to get as much information from him as possible.”
WHAT IF I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG?
Doesn't matter. When innocent people speak to law enforcement before speaking with a criminal defense attorney, it is always a mistake.
In the first place, you have no idea what information the police officer has or where it came from. Are you the subject of a criminal investigation or just a witness? The police will not tell you. Do they have circumstantial evidence? Where did he police get their information? From a reliable witness? From somebody with a grudge against you? Surveillance video? Bottom line, you don't know. As law professor James Duane would say, "you have the right to remain innocent."
Under no circumstances should you make any statement at all to the police. Making a statement can never be helpful to you. Your explanation will never lead to the police changing their mind about arresting you. Most times, your statement will hurt you in ways you can’t anticipate and may even create a case that doesn’t exist without your statement. A lot of the times they aren’t looking for a confession, they’re looking for little bits of information to help their case. Questions like, "Do you know so and so, which way do you go to work, what car do you drive?" seem harmless when what they are doing is filling in the blanks to convict you.
NO, YOU CAN'T TALK THEM OUT OF IT
No, they don’t care about your story
The police don’t care that you would never do something like that. That you have a good job. That you’re college educated. That you support your elderly parents, your five kids and your wife. The police don’t care that you’re a really nice guy. They don’t even care that you weren’t even there. Most people know that they don’t have to talk to the police, that they, “have a right to remain silent.” But the urge to defend yourself can be overwhelming, particularly if you think your explanation might end the whole thing.
DON’T DO IT!
Talking to the police CANNOT and WILL NOT help you.
THE POLICE HAVE ALREADY MADE THEIR DECISION
Talking to the police cannot make any difference. Nobody can “talk their way out of” an arrest. No matter how “savvy” or intelligent you think you might be, you will not convince them that you are innocent It is not like what you see on TV where the police are only trying to find out the truth. Most of the time, when they want to talk to you, they already believe that you did whatever crime they are investigating. You can expect to not leave the police station and be arrested.
THEN WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A POLICE OFFICER WANTS TO ASK ME ABOUT A CRIME?
You should tell the officer respectfully and politely that:
1) I would like to invoke my right to remain silent; and
2) I would like an attorney.
If you say those two things, all of the pressure the police place on you to talk goes away. They can't ask you any more questions. It's like magic. But if you don't say those two things, they keep applying pressure, and convincing you that it is in your best interests to talk to them when it is not.
DOESN’T HAVING A LAWYER MAKE YOU LOOK GUILTY?
Even if it does, who cares? Cases against defendants are built on evidence, not appearances. Having an attorney present is not evidence, the things you say are. Bringing an attorney with you may be the only way you are going to go home .
LET US TALK TO THE POLICE FOR YOU
Let us talk to the police. We can find out if they are planning to arrest you or if you really are just a witness. We can find out if they really want to 'hear your side of the story' or if that was just a ruse to get you to turn yourself in. Because whether you’re a witness or a suspect, the police are going to say exactly the same thing: “Come in, we just have a few questions.”
Your lawyer can sit with you and the police while you’re being interviewed. Your lawyer can tell you what questions to answer and what questions not to answer (in other words, when to shut up).
Every day, someone looks back on an encounter with the police and wishes they hadn’t talked. But no one ever looks back and wishes they hadn’t called their lawyer.
Don’t Call The Cops First. Call Your Lawyer. Call the Campola Law Firm.