Has a detective either called or left their card on your door asking you to speak with them about an incident? Or, has a detective asked if you’ll come down to the station “to clear things up”? You’re not told you’ll be arrested. The detective sounds reasonable and sincere. The inevitable question to me is “should I speak with them?” My answer almost always is a resounding “No.” Let me explain why.
The police want to speak with you because they have evidence indicating to them you’ve committed a crime. No matter how innocent you are, you most likely will not talk yourself out of being arrested. Even when in doubt, the police often exhibit a “arrest now and sort it out later” mentality. This explains why some people who are arrested subsequently have their cases dropped.
As you’ve heard repeatedly, you have a constitutional right to remain silent. Don’t be afraid to exercise your rights. In almost all circumstances, talking with the police will not only fail to prevent your arrest, but it will make your case worse. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve represented people who made my job much more difficult because they naively thought they’d just go in to explain what really happened and they’d then be free to leave. Instead, they were arrested at the conclusion of the interview and, worse yet, they inadvertently strengthened the State’s case against them in the process. Continue reading