What should you say to the Police?

NOTHING! – If Contacted by a cop regarding a criminal investigation, do not say anything to the Police, ever!
Whether you are innocent or guilty, you should remain silent. When a cop tells you that “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”, they mean it. Anything you say can never help you and can only hurt you. So don’t say anything? In DUI cases in particular, more people talk their way into jail than talk their way out of jail. Remember this key fact: It doesn’t matter what you did. All that matters now is what the authorities think you did and what they can prove you did. So, don’t help the Police prove anything. Don’t provide a confession or any statement. Despite anything they say, the Police are not trying to help you; they are trying to convict you. The Police will try every trick in the book to get you to talk. The Police will tell you that they are helping you and that telling what you have done will “make you feel better”. Don’t do it, unless incriminating yourself and being convicted makes you “feel better”. If you are the suspect of a crime and the Police Question you, just say that you mean no disrespect but wish to exercise your right to remain silent. Tell them “I don’t want to be questioned”; and Say the magic words: “I want to speak to an Attorney” – As soon as you say that you want a lawyer, the Police must cease all questioning.

There are 3 types of Police encounters with citizens:
1) Consensual Encounters – This is when the Police, without any stated suspicion of you, simply say hello to you or ask you questions. It is a consensual encounter because you consent to talk to them. Unless you are legally detained or arrested, you are entitled to ignore the Police or tell them you don’t wish to talk.

2) Detentions –this is the most common type of encounter in DUI cases, when the Police stop and detain you for investigation, and, for a time, you would be reasonable to infer that you are not free to leave.

3) Arrests (Custody) – when the Police take you into their custody, usually accompanied by telling you that you are under arrest(but not always), hand-cuffing you, and/or physically confining you to their Patrol Car, taking you to the station to take a breath test or a Jail cell.

The type of your encounter with the Police may later determine whether your statements to the Police can be used against you in court. Generally, a law enforcement officer only need to Mirandize you (read you your rights) when arresting you and can only use your statements against you if the Detention or Arrest was legal (i.e. did not violate your constitutional rights). Police can always use your statements made during consensual encounters against you in court. The Police do not have to read you your rights in non-custodial interrogations (ie. when you are free to leave). The point of the above is that there are complex criminal and constitutional laws governing when and how your statements can be used against you in court. However, you always retain one option – the right to remain silent! if you don’t talk to the police, the nature of your police encounter is irrelevant; your attorney will only have to litigate the nature of the police encounter if the prosecution wants to use your incriminating statements (or the evidence they lead to) against you. CONCLUSION – In any Police encounter, since, your statements to the Police can only hurt you, Don’t talk to the Police. Remain Silent! Ask for a Lawyer.

One Response to What should you say to the Police?

  1. Agreed, the police are not there to help the suspect, wise advice for the unsuspecting!

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