Posted in Criminal Defense on April 10, 2018
“The police are here and they want to talk to me. What do I do?”
If you encounter the police, exercise your legal rights to protect yourself from self-incrimination.
Most people are not aware that they have the absolute right to not talk to the police. Cops have a plan for you to turn yourself into a snitch in your own case. When you are being interviewed by the police, the police are simply gathering evidence against you to convict you of a crime.
With that said, it is in your best interest to remain silent. Here are 3 reasons why you should not talk to the police.
When have you ever heard of a story where an arrested man told the police officer several reasons why he was innocent and the officer let him go?
You cannot talk your way out of being arrested and you cannot give them any information that will help you at trial. Anything you say can be used against you but it does not work the other way around where it can work for you. The judge will dismiss it as “hearsay” and it will not help you in court.
This should be a good enough reason to keep your mouth shut when talking to the police.
Innocent people can be honest about the answers they give the police but can give the police evidence that can be used to convict the person of a crime. A person may admit guilt with no benefit in return.
A police officer has probably interrogated potential criminals hundreds of times. They are vetted interrogators and can often ask the right question to make someone confess to a crime (even if they did not commit the crime!). It is like putting an elite boxer against an amateur boxer in the ring. It is a mismatch of all sorts. Especially because anything you say will be used against you but everything you say cannot help you. The experienced interrogator is always going to win.
Even if you are innocent, deny guilt and mostly tell the truth, you can be in danger of incriminating yourself. One mistake or misstep in your story can sometimes be enough to appear guilty of a crime or wrongdoing.
Humans have a tendency to make associations and fill in gaps in stories. For example, if a police officer asks a potential criminal if they were at the scene where the gang-related incident occurred—some people would reply, “I was nowhere near the shooting”. The officer would then use that as evidence against them in the court of law because the officer did not even mention a shooting, only a gang-related incident. These human tendencies can easily cause a lot of problems in proving themselves innocent in the court of law.
These reasons are exactly why you should use your rights to remain silent when dealing with the police. It is best to refrain from answering questions politely and to ask to speak to your lawyer.
Here is a helpful infographic with some helpful tips on handling the police: