Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching “Better Call Saul” that I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but I did get asked recently by someone if you should ever talk to the police. It’s a really easy answer.
But what if you are innocent? No.
But what if you think you can explain what happened? No.
How about if they tell you that things will go easier or it’s not a big deal? No.
What if they’ve caught you committing the crime? No.
What if they tell you if you don’t talk, you are going to lose rights to your children? No.
What if they say they will arrest a family member if you don’t cooperate? No.
What if a witness is saying something in front of them and I want to rebut that? No.
Won’t I look guilty if I don’t talk? Who cares, just don’t talk.
You’ve surely heard the saying that anything you say can and will be used against you. That is the warning that the police must give you before they try to question you about a crime. It doesn’t always happen, but this Miranda Warning exists for a reason. It’s a bad idea to talk to the police.
In most situations, they are not looking out for you or your best interests. While you can feel pressure being with the police or just want your problem to go away, the smart thing to do is say nothing and focus on the long term. Whatever you personally think about the police, the reality is that they don’t solve most crimes. Most of the convictions that they help get occur because a suspect agrees to talk and provides the information needed to convict themselves.
When you say nothing other than you want a lawyer present, it protects you. Anything an attorney says can not be introduced as evidence. The less evidence you create, the more leverage you give your attorney to get you the best result possible. The police aren’t your friend and are not on your side. They aren’t looking out for you and don’t care about you.
I can tell you that if you surveyed 100 experienced criminal lawyers in Chicago or anywhere else in Illinois, they’d tell you the exact same thing. And if you’ve started to talk, but now realize you shouldn’t, just stop talking. If they want you to come in for an interview, you either decline or have an attorney accompany you. In almost every situation this is how you best protect yourself and end up with the best result possible in your case. And that is the goal. Period.
If you have any questions or want to speak with a Chicago criminal lawyer for free, call us any time at 312-346-5320.