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Why you shouldn’t talk to police (without an attorney)

On Behalf of | May 4, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If the police arrests you, you should not talk to them without an attorney. Police will try to get you to speak because they are trained to do this to obtain confessions, admissions and evidence, even if you are innocent. 

Arrests can be traumatizing and cause you to become nervous, which could easily lead you to answer a police officer’s question or engage in a back-and-forth conversation with them. In some cases, they may seem very friendly and like they’re on your side when they are not. 

What do the police want?

They want to get confessions because they want as many closed cases as possible. Every open case requires resources from police officers to detectives to attorneys on the prosecution’s side. In addition, the prosecutor’s office often has more cases than resources, thus it wants to close case files quickly. In addition:

  • The legal system is such that it benefits from convictions, which is why you should always ask to speak with an attorney and say nothing else.
  • Another problem with answering questions without first speaking with your attorney is that the police will use any inconsistency against you in court.
  • Also, police could take your statements out of context, misunderstand you and use their understanding of the information they retrieved from you as evidence that you committed the crime.

What can they do with what I say?

If the police officer you speak with testifies at a hearing or trial, they will use what they remember you said, which could or could not be what you said or, in some cases, what you meant to say. They will use everything they can to make a case.

Attorneys understand how the system works. They know how to communicate with the police and the prosecutor’s office to avoid misunderstandings and errors.