Should I Talk To The Police? What If I’m Innocent?
Remember friends: If you are arrested, you do NOT need to speak to the police.
In fact, ANY time that you think a police officer thinks you’ve done something wrong, you can invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent, whether or not you’ve been read your Miranda rights. You should say it clearly out loud, perhaps like this: “I invoke my 5th Amendment right to stay silent.”
It is tempting to believe that police are your friends. They aren’t. Their job is to amass enough evidence to put you in a cage.
Similarly, you must clearly state that you need to speak to a lawyer. In fact, the rule is that you need to UNEQUIVOCALLY request counsel, which means that you WOULDN’T say, “I guess I should talk to a lawyer.” That won’t do it! Again, you should say it clearly and out loud, perhaps like this:
“I need to speak to my lawyer now.”
You may need to say it several times – stay calm and be patient.
Don’t give a statement to the police without an attorney.
Why not? You might wonder. The police aren’t the bad guys. Here are the reasons:
- You’re upset. Something terrible just happened and you are being blamed for it. You may not have the facts straight in your head, and you may say something that is inconsistent with a later statement. Which leads us to…
- Police officers are trained to obtain confessions, admissions and inconsistencies. That’s a huge part of their job! They’ll cajole, they’ll threaten, they’ll call you a liar. Don’t play that game! It’s so dangerous that if you make a wrong move, you could end up locked in a cage! Whether you are innocent or not, police will use inconsistencies in your statements as evidence of guilt. And lastly…
- Police officers will lie to you. They’re allowed! They’ll say someone else blamed you. They’ll say that they have video of you committing a crime. They’ll say that they know exactly what happened and that you just need to say what they need to hear and you can just go home. And the biggest lie of all, they’ll say,
“If you cooperate, you’ll face lesser charges and/or the DA will go easy on you and/or your sentence will be reduced.”
Police officers have NO SAY over what a DA charges or what a Judge will sentence. None! So they not only won’t reduce your sentence; they can’t reduce your sentence.
Now as you may have guessed, none of this means that you can be rude to police; always be polite and respectful to police officers. In addition to it being in your best interest, it’s just the decent thing to do because police officers are human and they do a hard job.
Pro Tip: Just in case, keep the name and number of your lawyer (Matthew C. Parson, of course) in your purse or wallet. Our number is (814) 758-5659. Have a great day out there, friends!!