When you’re under suspicion of criminal wrongdoing, you may have an urge to talk to the police to try to explain why you’re innocent. But doing so is risky.
Many people who wind up convicted of a criminal offense get there by making incriminating statements to the police that are later used against them. That’s just one of the many reasons why you should avoid talking to the police until your attorney advises you otherwise.
Why you should avoid talking to the police
But there are other reasons why you should try to limit your interactions with the police when there’s an ongoing criminal investigation, even if you don’t plan on making a full-blown confession: Let’s look at some of those reasons here:
- The police will misconstrue your words: Investigators are good at getting people to talk. One way that they do that is by twisting their words against them. Then, as you try to clarify what you previously said, you end up talking yourself into a hole that makes you look guilty. Don’t give in to the urge to explain everything.
- The police will lie to you: The police are allowed to lie to you when they’re questioning you. Therefore, in order to get you talking, they might lie about having incriminating evidence against you, including physical evidence or witness statements. Don’t trust them when they make these claims.
- Investigators will offer you a deal: Sometimes investigators try to sweeten the pot to get you to talk. They may indicate that they’ll go easy on you by only pressing less severe charges, or they might even claim that they’ll let you off if you give them the information that they want. The police don’t really have the power to make these promises, though, so you shouldn’t take them at their word.
- The police might try to intimidate you: Intimidation is another strategy used by the police to try to get you to talk. They might threaten you with severe penalties, or they may even position themselves in the room in a way that is physically threatening. You don’t have to take their harassment, and you don’t have to be coerced into giving a confession or other incriminating evidence.
Know your rights
You have constitutional protections that you can rely upon to protect your interests in a criminal investigation. But it’s up to you to ensure that those rights are protected. The police probably aren’t going to do that for you.
Therefore, you need to know about your rights and how to utilize them to your advantage when you’re being questioned by the police. This includes remembering that you have a right against self-incrimination, which means that you don’t have to talk to the police at all.
When you’re being interrogated by the police, you have the right to remain silent, which, again, means that you don’t have to talk to the police. You also have the right to an attorney, which you should utilize if you want to fully protect yourself.
Don’t let the police push you into a bad situation
Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty. And your silence when talking to the police isn’t going to lead to conviction. It’s the physical evidence, witness statements, and your own words that are going to put you at risk.
Therefore, it’s best to consult with a criminal defense attorney before you engage the police. In addition to guiding your through the investigatory process, one of these legal advocates can help assess the facts of your case and develop the strategies that you need on your side to aggressively push back against the prosecution.