The answer to the question of whether you should speak with the police–on the surface–seems like a tough choice. From an early age, we are encouraged to trust the police. We’re told that we should answer their questions in order to “assist them” in their investigation. A person who hesitates to speak with officers is treated as a guilty person who is refusing to speak in order to hide something. It can seem as though you must have done something wrong if you don’t bother to tell your side of the story.
Police officers understand the pressure to speak, and they use different means, some subtle, to encourage you to speak.
If the police have asked to interview you and get “your side of the story,” understand that prior to talking with you, the police have likely already decided whether they are going to arrest you. It’s a done deal, one way or the other. And it often doesn’t matter if you are completely innocent of the charges. The history of criminal law is littered with cases where innocent people have made statements to the police and have still been arrested and charged with crimes. Do you not fool yourself into believing that you are the exception to the rule and that you, of all the millions of defendants before you, will talk your way out of an arrest.
Take, for example, the case of a 9-11 call for domestic violence. Your spouse has called the police claiming that you assaulted him or her after you came home drunk. You happen to be completely innocent of the charges: you never assaulted your spouse, but you did have a beer or two that evening. Emboldened by the belief that the truth will set you free, you willingly speak with the police and give them your side of the story.
Anything you say to the police can be used against you, and even the most innocuous and seemingly positive statements in your defense can be twisted to support elements of the victim’s story. Thinking that you might be helping your case by talking, you might also be admitting that you had been drinking that you got mad at your spouse, and that this wasn’t the first time you have argued. An interviewing police officer will hear each of these seemingly innocent statements as facts corroborating the victim’s story.
Please remember that your silence, even to police officers, cannot be used against you in a court of law. You are under no obligation to speak with police officers, and you will not be able to talk your way out of an arrest.
It is always a good idea to get guidance from a criminal defense lawyer in Denver, Colorado before speaking to the police. If you have been arrested–or think you may be arrested soon–call the experienced lawyers at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara today. During your free consultation, we’ll let you know your options.