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CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

Do Not Talk to the Police Without Having a Lawyer by Your Side

The big question always asked to criminal defense lawyers is — should I talk to the police voluntarily when they ask me to come in for a conversation? Every criminal defense lawyer has the exact same answer — no. Do not talk to the police without an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side.

It is not like what you see on TV crime shows where the police are only trying to find out the truth. Most of the time, when they invite you down for a chat, they already believe that you did whatever crime they are investigating. You can expect to not leave the police station and be arrested.

The police will attempt to convince you that if you cooperate then everything will be fine and you will be able to go home after a lengthy, recorded interview. Instead what they are thinking is that “we already believe he is guilty and we will get this perp to tell us as much as we can so that he will incriminate himself and spend as much time in jail as possible.”

If the police want to talk to you, do not refuse to cooperate and flee or go underground. You should actually do the opposite. Fleeing is much different than going into a meeting with law enforcement without an experienced criminal defense lawyer having your back. Without a lawyer there on your behalf, you may say something that the police will interpret in a way that could get you or a loved one arrested for a crime that they did not commit. In many instances, once you engage a criminal defense attorney, that person can be an initial go-between with you and the police. An attorney can learn whether or not you are a target of the investigation, what evidence the police have and the direction of their investigation.

Further, your criminal defense lawyer can parse through all of the things the police will tell you. Nothing the police tell you should be trusted. A lawyer can help determine what is accurate, what is not and what still needs to be confirmed. There are no rules against the police using lies, unfair tactics and trickery to convince you to tell them things against your best interest. Let your lawyer shield you from the possibility of you incriminating yourself.

Do not believe the assumption that if you bring a lawyer to a meeting with the police that they will think you are guilty. Even if that assumption exists, the benefits of you bringing protection will far outweigh the negatives of a possible assumption of guilt by the police.

The bottom line is that you should not trust the police if there is even a slight chance of you being wrapped up into a criminal investigation. Do the smart thing and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect you.

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