If a police officer has contacted you requesting to interview you in a criminal investigation, that can be a very intimidating and scary situation. You might feel like you are obligated to speak to the police officer, and at times they can definitely make it sound like you don’t have a choice but to talk to them. You might think that you can talk your way out of whatever they are investigating, or that if you don’t talk to the police officer that they will think that you are guilty of a crime.
It is very important that you resist the urge to speak to the police officer. Whether you are guilty of a crime, or completely innocent, it is never a good idea to speak to a police officer who suspects that you are involved in criminal activity. Nothing good can come from speaking to the police. They want to talk to you because they believe that you have done something wrong. The questions they ask are intended to give confirmation to their suspicion, and no matter what your answers are, they will twist what you say to fit their theory that you committed the crime.
Even when you are protesting your innocence, your statements can help the police to convict you. For example, let’s say someone accuses you of a crime, but all the police have is their statement that you committed the crime. There isn’t any other evidence to corroborate what the accuser is saying. The police have no real way to know whether or not the accuser is credible. Then, you give an interview to the police. You deny committing the crime. However, you tell the police where you were on the day of the crime, who you were with, what you were wearing, and what you were driving. All of those details, while innocent and not proof of a crime, match the description given to the police by your accuser. Suddenly, your own statements have given credibility to the accuser’s story, corroborating facts that the police may have had no other way to independently corroborate. And you find yourself charged with a crime.
Furthermore, if you are guilty of a crime, the police might tell you that the prosecutor will treat you better if you cooperate and confess to the crime. This simply is not true. It’s a lie that they will tell you in order to coerce you to confess. To be clear, you should never lie to the police about your involvement in a crime. You simply should not say anything at all. If you are guilty, good plea bargains come about not because you cooperated and confessed to the police, but because the government does not have a confession from you and they are unsure whether or not they will be able to prove their case at a trial. Don’t give the government the information that they need to ensure a conviction, because they will not reward you for it.
If you have been contacted by the police for an interview, the only thing that you should ever say to them is that you do not want to speak to them without a lawyer present. Then, consult with and hire a lawyer, like a criminal lawyer Greenville, MI relies on, immediately. Let them run interference with the police so that you don’t have to continually refuse to make a statement. But under no circumstances should you speak to the police in a criminal investigation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Blanchard Law for their insight into criminal defense.