5 Reasons to Never Talk to the Police Without an Attorney Present
Whether you are being questioned by the police casually, arrested and suspected of a crime, or being questioned as a witness, think twice about what you say to the police – or if you should even speak with them at all. Having an attorney present anytime you are questioned is usually best.
When an officer asks your name, you are obligated to answer. From there, you do not have to answer any questions without an attorney present.
5 Reasons Having an Attorney Present is Always Best
The police have shown up at your house and said that they need to speak with you. They state you are not a suspect, and you know you did not do anything wrong. Therefore, you will cause yourself no harm by talking with them. This makes sense, right?
While this may be the case, realize that if officers are at your door to speak with you, you have been suspected in some way of doing something wrong. If this is not enough, here are five more reasons why you should have an attorney present before answering questions of any nature.
- There is no need to talk to the police even if you are innocent. Talking to police does not make a difference regarding innocence. You cannot talk your way out of being arrested – even if you are the savviest of talkers. It is a lose-lose situation for you when you answer officers’ questions. They will likely try to assure you that they are trying to help you, and you can only help yourself by speaking to them. Untrue. As a general rule, speaking with the police without an attorney present will not help you, but could most definitely hurt you. Therefore, it is critical that you have your attorney with you to field these issues and ensure that your answers are not self-incriminating.
- Even if you are guilty, you should not speak to the police. You might be guilty and even ready to confess. However, you still should not speak with police until you have consulted with an attorney. Particular circumstances could allow your attorney to seek lesser charges, but they cannot do that if you openly confess, or simply say the wrong thing.
- Even if you are innocent, you could say something that makes you appear guilty. If the police are questioning you, they consider you a suspect in some way. You could be innocent and think that you have nothing to fear, so why not talk? But there are so many things you could say that you think is harmless, but could make you appear guilty in the eyes of officers who already suspect you. The officers may not begin by having enough to arrest you, but if you speak to them and say anything that could possibly be construed as incriminating – you could walk your way right into a jail cell.
- Police officers may not recall your statements accurately. You might not exaggerate your statements or tell any falsities, but it is not uncommon for a person’s statement to become skewed between the officer, the officer’s report, and how the prosecution reads and perceives it. The only way to ensure your statements are recalled with 100% accuracy is to have an attorney present and the statements recorded.
- Police officers cannot make deals or grant leniency. They may tell you that they can. They may tell you that if you just confess, or speak with them, they will understand and go easy on you. You must realize that officers arrest people. That is what they do. They do not control the criminal justice system any further than that. The only party that can grant leniency or even make a deal is the prosecutor. So once again, speaking to the police without your attorney present will likely not help you – or get you leniency.
Hiring an Attorney Is as Easy as a Phone Call
If police officers are questioning you, innocent or not, you need a lawyer by your side. Contact the attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to see what options you have before answering questions.
Our attorneys offer free case evaluations; therefore, there is no obligation to meet with us. Schedule a consultation now at 505-375-4664 or ask our team a question online.