When the police come knocking, a lot of people end up having open and honest conversations with law enforcement officers in an attempt to dispel any suspicions that may be encircling them. This is usually a bad idea. After all, the police aren’t your friend. Rather, you should assume that they’re trying to find any evidence they can to implicate you in the crime at hand.
There are a wide range of reasons why you shouldn’t talk to the police, including each of the following:
- The police are banking on you not knowing your rights: You have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination, which means that you’re never obligated to talk to the police. But the police are probably going to try to tip-toe as close to the line as possible to try to get you to talk to them. This means that they may subject you to a custodial interrogation without reading you your Miranda rights. When this happens, you might be able to have any statements that you make, including a confession, tossed out of your trial. So, know your rights and how to act on them.
- The police are going to try to buddy up to you: Law enforcement officers might try to get you to talk by speaking as if they’re acting in your best interests. They’re not. They’re only look out for their investigation, trying to find a way to close their case. So, even if you make a slight misstatement, it may be taken out of context and used against you. Remember to ask if you’re free to leave questioning to better determine if you’re being subjected to custodial interrogation.
- The police might not understand what you’re trying to say: Depending on the circumstances at hand, the facts may be rather complicated. As a result, as you’re explaining yourself your statements may be misconstrued and leaving you looking more guilty than you anticipated.
- The police might be dishonest: Although we all hope that law enforcement officers are truthful and trustworthy, some of them aren’t. This means that words might be put into your mouth and law enforcement might claim that you said things that you really didn’t.
- The police don’t have the power to bargain with you: In some instances, an investigator might claim that you’ll face less harsh penalties or lighter charges if you talk. But the truth is that the police don’t have the power to negotiate plea bargains. Only the prosecutor can do that. So, don’t be duped by investigators’ claims that they can help you if you help them.
- You might be able to get a better deal later on: Even if you’re guilty and you want to confess, you should make sure that you consider all of your options before talking to the police. After all, circumstances can change, which means that you may be able to obtain a more favorable deal if you wait to talk to the police.
Consider discussing your circumstances with an experienced criminal defense attorney
There’s a lot to consider when you’re under investigation for criminal wrongdoing. And one slight misstep can leave you facing serious charges and the possibility of harsh penalties.
But you can diligently work to protect your interests by crafting a compelling criminal defense strategy that addresses every aspect of your case. This includes determining how best to interact with the police and prosecutors, and using case law, statutory law, and the rules of evidence to your advantage.
If you’d like to learn more about how a criminal defense attorney can help you in that regard, then you may want to reach out to an experienced firm that can give you the advocacy you need and deserve.