Top 10 Reasons to Never Speak to a
Law Enforcement Officer

REASON 1

Talking to the police CANNOT help you.

If the police are talking to you, it's because they suspect you have committed a crime. If they have detained you, it's because they already have enough evidence to arrest you and they want to see if you will admit it and thus, give them an even stronger case against you. If they have evidence to arrest you for a crime, they will. If they don't, they won't. It's as simple as that. Talking to them or not talking to them won't make a difference! No one has ever "talked his way out of" an arrest. If the police have enough evidence to arrest, they will. If you deny that you committed the crime, they will not believe you. They already have evidence suggesting that you committed the crime. They'll assume you're just doing what every criminal does in denying the offense. It will not prevent you from getting arrested. This is completely contrary to popular belief. For some reason, many people think that they are savvy enough or eloquent enough or well educated enough to be able to talk to the police and convince the police not to arrest them. But ask any police officer if because of the eloquence and convincing story of the suspect, they have ever been convinced not to arrest somebody whom they had originally intended to arrest, and they will tell you no. They will tell you that in their experience, no one has ever talked themselves out of getting arrested. Talking to the police cannot help you. It cannot prevent you from getting arrested. It can only hurt.

REASON 2

Even if you're guilty, and you want to confess and get it off your chest, you still shouldn't talk to the police.

People plead guilty in America every day. Probably over 90% of defendants in state court plead guilty at some point during their case. There is plenty of time to confess and admit guilt at a later stage of the proceedings. What's the rush? Get a lawyer first. Let the lawyer set up a deal whereby you get something in exchange for accepting responsibility for the offense. A better plea bargain, or maybe even immunity. If you confess to the police, you get nothing in return. Zero. In fact, you probably get a harsher prosecution because the state's case is now airtight, now that you have confessed.

REASON 3

Even if you are innocent, it's easy to tell some little white lie in the course of a statement.

Even if you are innocent, and you only tell the truth, and you don't tell any little white lies, it is possible to give the police some detail of information that can be used to convict you.

REASON 4

This kind of thing happens all the time. A person who is completely innocent and who is trying to vehemently assert their innocence will go overboard and take it a little bit too far and deny some insignificant fact, tell some little white lie, because they want to sound as innocent as possible. But if the police have evidence of that lie, it makes your entire statement look like a lie. The prosecutor will ask: "Why did he lie to the police? Why indeed would he lie to the police, unless he were guilty?"

That little white lie could be used to destroy your credibility at trial.

An example would be a man who is questioned about a murder. He wants to sound innocent. He wants to sound non-violent. He is, in fact, innocent. So he denies everything. He denies the killing. He denies being in the area where the killing occurred on the night that it occurred. He denies owning a gun, and denies that he has ever owned a gun in his whole life. But it Turns out that this last statement is not true, And the police can prove it. He did at one time during his life own a gun. Now he has told a lie and the police have caught him and things will only go downhill from there. Although he is innocent of the murder, he has told a lie that will be used to destroy his credibility at trial and could be the cause of his conviction.

For example, a suspect is being questioned about a murder. He is truly innocent of the murder. But in the course of explaining his innocence, he makes the statement that he never liked the victim, because the victim was not a nice guy. A statement like that could be used to prove motive.

Or in the course of the statement, the suspect might admit that he was in the area of town where the murder was committed at the time it was committed. Although he's innocent and although this statement is true, the prosecutor could use that statement to suggest that the suspect had the opportunity to commit the crime, which looks very bad in front of a jury.

Seek Consultation From An Attorney

At Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer, your rights will be protected. You can count on our 100 years of combined experience to help you get the results you need. Contact our Columbia student defense attorneys at 573-442-1660 to schedule a consultation.

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