You should not talk to the police under any circumstances. Short of giving a name, you response to police should be simple silence. You never have to talk to police, no law enforcement officer can make you speak, and you certainly have the right to remain silent, and innocent. It simply does not matter if you are charged with most heinous of all felonies or the simplest of all misdemeanors, you have the right to be silent, and the right not to incriminate yourself!
What Can Happen When You Talk
It is understandable that you may have a great alibi, the police may have the wrong guy, you may think that you explain to the officer that this is simply a misunderstanding. When the police are talking to you it is likely that you will be nervous. It is certainly a stressful situation. This stress and your nerves may cause you to misstate facts, simply make an incorrect statement about the events, say something that the cop conveniently misremembers later at a hearing or trial. You may confuse two people's names and, then, the cops will try and make that look like you are lying on purpose.
Cops Lie to Trick You into Saying Things You Shouldn't
Did you know that is perfectly legal for cops to lie to try and get you to confess to a crime. There are several shady things that law enforcement can legally do to try and trick you.
- Police can repeatedly accuse of a crime you didn't commit while they have you locked in an interrogation room.
- Police can invade your private space to make you feel uncomfortable because if you are uncomfortable then you are more likely to tell them what they want to hear.
- Police will make up a complete lie and tell you that they have collected fingerprints, DNA, or have video of you at a crime scene. They are legally allowed to do this.
- Police will lie and tell you that you someone else took a polygraph implicating you in a crime.
- Police will lie and tell you that your loved one, and maybe co-defendant has blamed you or told police it was you.
The Reid Technique
Robert Kolker of New York Magazine has explained this technique and it has been called the Bible of interrogation techniques.
1. Isolation - the suspect is isolated, usually in a tiny interrogation room and left alone for a substantial amount of time.
2. Guilt - Cops tell the suspect he or she is guilty, that he knows it, their family knows it, the cops know it, everyone knows it. The cop will give the suspect a theme or story about how they feel the case developed.
3. Minimize - The officer will sympathize with the suspect. Tell the suspect they understand why they did it. They will not allow the suspect to deny the claims or maintain their innocence. The investigator will place the blame on someone else.
All of this to get a confession against the defendant. The investigator is putting on a show, they don't care about your situation, they are not going to make it easier on you - no matter what they say.
In fact, while you are being interrogated, there is probably a whole pile of other investigators sitting in the room next to yours watching your interrogation and they are joking about how long it will take for you to confess. Don't fall for that trick.
"Just Come Down to the Station to Talk"
Nine times out of ten if you go down to the station talk you won't walk back out of that station without handcuffs on. Don't go to a "meeting" with investigators because it is no meeting it is going to turn into an interrogation. You have the right to be SILENT. You don't have to say anything, you don't even have to tell them you want a lawyer you can just be silent.
If you have information that you think could get you out of a sticky situation or that needs to be conveyed to law enforcement then you need to let your lawyer convey that information for you because if you say it will end up recorded, in a police report, and used against you at trial.
DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR CASE ON THE JAIL PHONE. This one is huge. While you are in jail, all you have to think about is your case and when your family calls or comes to see you you want to talk about your case. You have to resist the urge to do that.
Ryan worked as a prosecutor in the Coweta Judicial Circuit. He has seen first hands prosecutors combing through every single call suspects make from the jail hoping for one slip-up, hoping for one "I didn't mean to" from a suspect so that they will have evidence against you. Also, don't be slick and try to call from someone else's jail phone account. Prosecutors will catch on to this and they will listen to those calls as well.
All of this goes for jail phone calls and for recorded jail visits. You have the right to remain silent, you have the right not to talk about your case when prosecutors and cops are listening. Use that right.
A Video on Why You Should Never Talk to Police
If you are facing an interrogation. If police have asked you to come to the station to chat. If you or your loved one are in jail, then do the best thing you can and contact a criminal defense attorney and get them on your side.