Don’t talk with the police. Talk with a criminal defense lawyer, instead. You’ll almost certainly be told by that attorney the same thing: don’t talk with police. If you get a different answer, call another criminal defense attorney.
You have your answer. I even gave you a bonus piece of advice.
If you are continuing to read, you probably want to talk with the police. Don’t do it. It’s a bad move to talk with police. Instead, GET AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY.
It is best for a person to exercise their right to remain silent. They should also seek the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Silence + Getting an Attorney on Your Side = Your Best Chance
If you can afford to hire an attorney, let your attorney assert your rights for you. Talking to the police can be beneficial, but it is important to know who to trust. A criminal defense lawyer is the best person to make this decision.
If you cannot afford to hire an attorney or are under arrest, you may need to assert your own rights, anyway.
If you are free to leave the presence of police, leave. Go find a criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible time.
I frequently receive calls from people who tell me the police want to talk to them.
Don’t do it.
Callers are usually not charged with a crime, as far as they know.
Don’t do it.
Callers almost always know it’s a bad idea to talk to cops alone.
Don’t do it.
Don’t do it because you think it will clear your name.
Don’t do it when you are guilty of exactly what they suspect.
Don’t do it when you think they have overwhelming evidence against you.
Don’t do it because you think cops will tell you the truth.
Don’t do it when you know they couldn’t possibly have evidence against you.
Don’t do it because you think actual innocence will protect you.
Don’t even think about doing it.
Don’t do it and don’t continue to ask yourself whether you should do it.
Don’t do it because you think it will help you in any way.
Callers want to talk to cops with their lawyer present because that is supposed to be okay. It’s not.
Getting a lawyer is better than not getting one. However, I think it’s a bad idea to talk to the police when your lawyer is present. Rare exceptions exist, but it’s generally not a good idea to talk to police. You don’t know the difference if you still want to talk to the police.
You must pay for a lawyer before being arrested. Legal fees are usually not inexpensive.
They should not be cheap. This blog advice costs you no money. Don’t talk to the police.
Callers want assurances from me that it’s okay to talk with cops.
I won’t do it. Don’t talk to the police.
Callers have several things in common:
I don’t blame them for any of those things. But here is the reality:
Nonetheless, they want to believe they will help themselves by talking to cops. They seem to want my permission to do what they know is a bad choice.
No. Don’t do it.
STOP. Re-read the last two lines. Re-read them again. That’s your answer. You can stop reading now. If you continue to read, the message won’t change.
This is kind of obvious, but I’ll say it, anyway. If you are in the process of being arrested, the decision is made. Talking to the cop is a horrible idea.
Keep your mouth shut. When asked whether you want to have an attorney, you can tell the cop you want an attorney at all times. That’s one of the only good ways to talk to a cop. If you are asked whether you want to terminate the interview, tell the cop you want to terminate the interview.
Don’t talk to the police. DO get an attorney.
You must firmly assert both those rights. Dig in your heels.
Insist on your rights as many times as necessary. Making one brief mistake and talking can cause courts to say you have waived your rights. This is true even if you had previously asserted your rights multiple times.
That one mistake can cost you a lifetime of pain and suffering.
Appeals courts go out of their way to decide people waive these rights. Don’t give them the chance to take your rights.
You may want reasons why you shouldn’t talk to cops. Legal scholars can provide libraries full of reasons. Prisons contain many people who made the mistake of incriminating themselves.
A blog post is too short to cover the countless reasons to justify the advice to not talk to police.
I will discuss the topic briefly. However, the reasons are much more complex than what I can explain here.
Cops are under no obligation to tell you the truth. Lying to suspects is a part of cops’ job.
Courts empower cops to lie to you. Cops can lie to you about why they want to talk to you.
Suspects can be told they are not suspects. Witnesses can become suspects without knowing. Cops themselves may not suspect a witness and change their minds after talking.
Cops can legally lie about what evidence they have against you. They may legally lie about what people are saying about you.
Think about it from the cops’ point of view. They investigate criminal allegations, frequently talking to suspects. Sometimes they have strong evidence, but sometimes they have no evidence.
Are guilty people eager to admit guilt or involvement in crime? Do they want to go to prison?
Don’t be ridiculous. Guilty people deny their guilt. The same applies to innocent people.
Even innocent comments can be construed as admissions of guilt. Denials are considered by police to be dishonesty and will NOT result in your release.
Police often hope that a suspect’s statement will provide enough evidence to attain a conviction, even if the suspect is innocent. In many cases, this proves to be true.
Many cases with strong defenses have been lost. This is due to the suspects making incriminating statements, thinking it would help them. Unfortunately, this belief was incorrect. Many innocent people have talked themselves into trouble.
The police think you did something wrong if you have been arrested. They are willing to testify to this.
Consider the implications. Would their questioning be geared to help you or hurt you? Police do NOT want to help suspects unless one considers convictions “help”.
Getting people to talk to cops about criminal acts is often no easy task. Cops work on that problem with a variety of methods. Lying is just another tool in the cop toolbox to get people to talk. One prominent, but hopefully soon-to-be-abandoned, method is called “The Reid Technique”, which has led to countless false confessions.
Yes, innocent people confess. Innocent people are put into prison for words that come out of their mouths. That truth is well documented.
I’ll talk to them and clear up everything. Don’t do it.
I’m scared. Don’t do it.
I didn’t do anything. Don’t do it.
I don’t know anything. Don’t do it.
They’ll get a warrant. Don’t do it.
I am scared they will arrest me if I don’t talk. Don’t do it.
I’m worried about having a criminal record. Don’t do it.
If you are highly educated, don’t do it.
If you are a cop, don’t do it.
If you know the cops personally, don’t do it.
If you are a human, don’t do it.
They said such and such. Don’t do it.
They threatened me with such and such. Don’t do it.
Just not doing it might be the end of it. Just not doing it may be the first step in a long, gut-punching, life-altering process. There’s no way to tell on the front end of the process.
Just Don’t Do It.
*All answers are for people 21 years or older, do not involve enhancements, are not exclusive, and are limited to Texas.
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