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Dysart Willis

Why you need your lawyer when speaking with police

Most people know that a complicated criminal case needs an experienced attorney. However, even a "simple" case can lead you to a lot of trouble if you try to handle it on your own.

The first problem people encounter is assuming a case is simple when it is really not. Further, even a straightforward case can turn complicated in the blink of an eye. Finally, even if you think all you need to do is tell your side of the story, this approach is rarely successful.

Tactics to get you to give up legal protections

Police officers also know that a good defense lawyer can stop a suspect from making mistakes. While the law offers some protections to arrested individuals, officers often try to get around this by getting people to agree to talk to them without an attorney.

Officers may seem friendly to throw you off your guard

One way police may approach you is by telling you they are not investigating you and hope to just get some information from you. This may or may not be true. Even if it is, if your conversation with officers gives them ammunition against you, you can turn into a suspect and get arrested.

If officers have stopped or arrested you, a common tactic they use is a friendly demeanor that suggests they are on your side and just want to hear your story. They may imply they can get you lenient treatment from the courts. The truth is that police prioritize solving crimes, not doing favors for suspects. They also do not have power to make binding deals about charges and sentencing; generally, only prosecutors may do that.

Officers do not have to tell you the truth

Police officers may also lie in order to get statements. For example, they are legally allowed to tell you they have evidence against you even if they do not.

If police officers have arrested you or gotten in touch with you looking for information, do not speak with them. Contact an experienced defense lawyer immediately for advice on how to proceed.