If you’ve been accused of criminal wrongdoing, it can be tempting to talk to the police in an attempt to explain your side of the accusation. As much as you may want to defend your reputation, the best response is to politely decline to answer questions until you have spoken to an attorney.
Here are just some of the tactics police may use to get you to talk:
- Saying they need your help: The police may approach you in a way that makes you think that you’re not under suspicion, but that the police just need your help to steer them in the right direction. Here, investigators may seem friendly, but they’re still trying to get you to say something that will implicate you in the crime in question.
- Intimidating you: Some investigators will try to use fear to get you to talk. Police officers may threaten harsh penalties if you do not cooperate. Before you say anything, wait and talk to an attorney.
- Using leading questions: The police are savvy in their questioning. As a result, they’re probably going to employ tactics that will lure you into a false sense of security by asking seemingly innocent questions that lead to more incriminating ones. The way you phrase your answers is critical here, so you’ll need to carefully think through your responses before answering.
- The good-cop, bad-cop tactic: You’ve seen this on television. One cop acts aggressively so that you’re more likely to open up to the one that’s being nice to you. But remember, the police aren’t your friend, regardless of what they say and how they act. They’re simply trying to secure incriminating statements that they can use against you.
- Using the statements of others: Whether it’s an alleged accomplice, a cellmate, or a close friend or family member, the police may approach you with statements made by those who know you in hopes of luring you into talking. The thing is these statements may not have been made. And if they were, investigators might be taking them out of context. So, don’t fall for this trickery.
Protect your rights when dealing with the police
You have the right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney. At no time in your life is this right more important. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you protect your future.