Why You Should Never Talk to the Police

I am regularly contacted by people that are being investigated for committing criminal offenses. The first question that almost everyone asks me is whether they should talk to the police. My answer is always the same: You should never talk to the police when they are investigating criminal allegations against you.

Instead, the only thing that you should say is that you want to speak to your attorney. In Connecticut, the fact that you have a criminal defense attorney before you are arrested cannot be used against you during a criminal trial. Anything else that you say can be used against you. Anything that you say that can be made to seem incriminating will be used against you. And, you cannot reliably determine what can be made to seem incriminating.

Before you are arrested, you should never tell the police that you are invoking your constitutional right to remain silent. While you do have a constitutional right to remain silent when questioned by the police, before and after arrest, the fact that you have invoked the right before being arrested can be used against you during a criminal trial. The prosecutor would be allowed to argue to the jury that the fact that you refused to answer the police officer's questions is evidence from which they can infer that you are guilty. Again, the only thing that you should say is that you want to speak to your attorney!

There are many reasons why, even if you are wholly innocent, you should never talk to the police when you have been accused of committing a crime. Police officers are trained to use psychologically coercive interrogation techniques to get you to make incriminating statements, and many innocent people have been coerced into making false confessions. Police officers are allowed and encouraged to lie to you to get you to make incriminating statements. The police officer could innocently misinterpret what you say. The police officer could lie about what you say. (You never want to be in a position of it being your word against the word of a police officer.) You might mistakenly say something that turns out to be provably wrong. You might say something that seems helpful, but that could be used against you with other facts. The police officer might only be looking to obtain incriminating evidence because the decision has already been made to arrest you.

The prisons are filled with people that thought that they could talk their way out of getting arrested. Do not make that mistake. Instead, tell the police that you want to talk to your attorney, and then immediately retain a criminal defense attorney. An attorney-client relationship with a criminal defense attorney is like a protective cloak against the government obtaining or manufacturing evidence to be used against you.

If you need a criminal defense attorney for a serious case in Connecticut, please call me at (860) 522-7000 x101 to talk about how I can help you.