You may have heard it said that, if you are not guilty of a crime, there is no reason to be afraid of talking to police. Maybe that questionable advice even came from the police themselves. But the reality is that you could be making a huge mistake by agreeing to speak with investigators without first talking to a defense attorney.
There are multiple good reasons to call your attorney first, but the primary reason is this: you have a right not to say anything to police that could be self-incriminating. That is your right to remain silent. You also have a right to legal counsel and to have an attorney represent you. While the police may try to mislead you into saying something that implicates you in a crime, you are not allowed to lie to police. An experienced attorney can be present as the police interview you, and your attorney can help you refrain from saying anything that the police could use against you. An experienced defense attorney may also recommend that you not speak to the police at all.
There is a risk even if you try your best to be accurate
Let’s assume that you never intended to lie to the police. But perhaps you were a bit fuzzy on some details of the events in question. If investigators notice any discrepancies in your statements, that could raise suspicion, even if you did your best to provide an accurate account of events or your whereabouts.
Additionally, keep in mind that a police officer’s job is not to protect you from making self-incriminating statements — really, it’s the contrary. A police officer’s questions are likely designed to get you to incriminate yourself. In far too many cases, this type of questioning leads to false charges. Don’t let that happen to you. Put an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible.
The Law Office of Scott N. Richardson advises and represents clients throughout Palm Beach County.