When the police ask to speak with you, chances are you probably think you should do what you can to help them out. Most people will answer any questions openly with the intention of being a source of assistance. However, keep in mind that when the police say they are out to get the truth, this means the truth that they are hoping will be able to assist the prosecution, whatever that may mean. Plain and simple, the most helpful thing we can tell you is this: there is never a reason to talk to the police and there are numerous reasons why you shouldn’t talk to the police.
There is a reason you have the right to remain silent and that is because it is the smart thing to do. When a police officer wishes to speak to you, it means one of two things: you are either a potential target or a potential witness. As they conduct their criminal investigation, they will try to talk to as many people as possible in order to solve the crime. This means that until you know whether you are the target or the witness, do not cooperate. Continue reading below to learn more about your fifth and sixth amendments and how they can protect you in a situation like this.
The Fifth Amendment – The Right To Remain Silent
“no person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”
While many people do not know this, a police officer cannot arrest you simply for refusing to answer their questions. The only way you are going to get arrested is if the officer has probable cause to arrest you and in that case, you will be arrested whether you answer their questions or not. Let us be clear, there is no way to talk your way out of an arrest. That means that talking won’t do anything for you other than help to incriminate you. This is why it is best to keep your lips closed. Until you are familiar with details that will tell you how and why you are playing a role in the investigation, the only thing you should say to an officer is, “I am exercising my right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment.”
The Sixth Amendment – Your Right To An Attorney
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.”
The first step you should take once you are arrested, besides keeping quiet, is to ask for a lawyer. This is why the Sixth Amendment exists. Without a lawyer present, you may be allowing the police to incriminate you or twist your words. You may also end up admitting having knowledge about some facts about the crime which could lead to your arrest.
The Police Rarely Fight Fair
While we know that police are supposed to protect and serve, there is enough anecdotal evidence out there that would prove that is not always what ends up happening. This means you are at a disadvantage when you are speaking with the police. As we mentioned before, there is no way to talk your way out of a situation like this. If anything, you will likely just be digging yourself a hole that will continue to get deeper and deeper until you can’t get out.
Tricks The Police May Use
Another thing you may not realize is that the police are trained on how to get you to talk. There are many different methods that can be used to pull information out of a person and they are well-versed on all of them. However, we will just give you examples of a few.
The Direct Confrontation Method
While this method might be the least subtle, it certainly is the most used. When an officer uses this method, they will likely confront with evidence they already have and then lie about some aspect of the evidence as well. It could be as simple as telling you that someone saw you at the scene of the crime, or claiming that your DNA has been found.
The Apology Method
An officer will other times use your own guilt against you. They will ask for you to at least apologize to the victim so that the victim can have some closure. Do not do this as it is considered an emission of guilt.
The ‘Your Side Of The Story’ Method
This is the most common and most effective way police will get you to talk to them. By asking for your side of the story, the officer places doubt on the story of the victim by asking you to tell him what actually happened. In all honesty, the officer can’t take your side as true. Your story will be reported back but it will by no means trump the statement of the victim. This can often result in you being formally arrested.
When it comes to speaking to cops, the one thing we can tell you is not to. Your best bet is to not say a word and when the time comes, request that you are able to contact your attorney at the Law Offices of Loomis & Greene. We can help you with your criminal case every step of the way. Call us today to learn more about how we can assist you!