Are you worried about being accused of criminal wrongdoing? If so, now is the time to start thinking about how to defend yourself. After all, the police are probably going to come knocking, and you have to know how to react if you want to protect your freedom and your future.
So, how should you interact with the police when they start questioning you about criminal wrongdoing? First, you need to understand your right to remain silent.
Your Miranda rights
When you’re in custody being interrogated by the police, investigators are required to notify you of your Miranda rights. Among these rights is the right to remain silent. You never have to talk to the police, so don’t let them trick you into thinking that you need to share information with them. In fact, you have protections under the federal Constitution that allow you to avoid self-incrimination.
We can’t stress enough that this right to remain silent is absolute. Unfortunately, the police only have to remind you of this right if you’re being subjected to custodial interrogation. Therefore, the police might try to question you when you’re not in custody so that they can avoid this requirement.
This is where a lot of people slip up thinking that they have to talk to the police. The result is that they end up talking themselves into trouble.
Sneaky police tactics that you need to watch for
The police deploy a lot of different strategies to try to get people to talk. If you’re unaware of them, you could fall into a trap and end up saying something that’s damaging to your defense. So, while you have the right to remain silent, you should also be on the lookout for these strategies so that you know how to avoid them:
- Making false promises: The police might offer you an enticing plea deal or otherwise promise to go light on you if you agree to talk. However, they don’t have the power to enforce these promises. Only the prosecuting attorney does. So, don’t fall for this slick tactic.
- Lying to you: The police are allowed to feed you false information to try to get you to talk. They might lie about someone seeing you at the scene of the crime or about physical evidence that implicates you in a criminal act. There’s a good chance that this information isn’t true, so don’t fall for it.
- Making threats: The police might try to coerce you into making a statement by threatening you with harsher charges, action against loved ones, or even physical violence. It can be hard to stand strong against these threats, but you need to if you want to protect your interests. It might be helpful to remember that these are strategies aimed at tricking you into talking.
There are a lot of other methods used by the police to get you to talk. It’s helpful to always fall back on your right to remain silent. It’s also beneficial to keep in mind that you’re innocent until proven guilty, so don’t worry about how staying silent or asking for an attorney will look.
Don’t let yourself get pushed around by the police
The police and the prosecutor might get aggressive in your case. That’s to be expected. You just need to be prepared to get aggressive in defending yourself. By having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side, you might be able to fight back fiercely enough to avoid the harsh penalties or avoid conviction entirely.
If that’s the sort of outcome that you’re looking for, we encourage you to reach out to a legal team that you think will give you the advocacy that you deserve.