If police ever show up at your door, investigating you for criminal activity, you need to know what to do. Your decision to talk to them and answer their questions likely could backfire.
Instead of answering questions, first you can tell the police you are opting to remain silent, one of your Miranda rights. Then you should contact a criminal rights attorney, who can advise you what your best plan of action is.
The reasons to avoid talking to police without an attorney present include the following:
- You may not be under investigation, but something you say could implicate your involvement in a crime.
- Police don’t have to tell you the truth. They may lie about what evidence they have or what someone else said, to intimidate you into confessing.
- You can’t lie to police though. Anything you say to police will become part of their records. If you lie, your statements could be used to discredit you in court, or you could be charged with giving police false statements or obstructing justice.
- You don’t know what your options are. If police do arrest and charge you, a criminal defense attorney can evaluate the evidence against you and help you understand what your options are. Perhaps you might be eligible for a plea deal if you can give evidence of others involved or your case might be dismissed if your arrest was handled improperly.
- Working with a defense attorney can help you bolster your case through additional witnesses and information you give them about the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
You also want to avoid any phone calls from jail where you talk about what led you to your arrest. Again, law enforcement can access tapes of those conversations and use that information against you. Working with an attorney right away is your best chance to avoid a conviction or reduce the charges or penalties you may face. Your future truly depends you staying silent and hiring an attorney to advise you further.