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Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Talk to the Police


10. Even if you tell the truth and are 100% innocent, it is impossible to tell the same story the exact same way every time. If you tell your story more than once, a skilled prosecutor can always pick apart the statement you gave to the police and use even minor discrepancies to make it seem as if you are lying.

9. Even when innocent, people tend to exaggerate or omit certain facts which they believe to be insignificant when giving a statement to the police. Any "little white lie" can be used to destroy your credibility at trial.

8. What you might think is an insignificant detail could be used by the police to convict you. For example you may place yourself at or near the scene of a crime even though you are completely innocent of the actual crime.

7. The police may have obtained statements from purported witnesses that are wrong or incorrect. If you give a statement that conflicts with that of the witness, you will be portrayed as a liar or as someone who has something to hide. An example is a witness who mistakenly identifies you as being the person he saw leaving the scene of a robbery. You state truthfully that you were never in the area; it has now become a question for the jury to determine if you the "accused" are lying.

6. The police may not recall or tell your story to the jury with 100% accuracy. If the police witness testifies at trial that you said X when you actually said Y, who does the jury think is lying? The jury will assume that you the "accused" must be lying.

5. The police have already identified you as a suspect and if your statement in any way fits a detail of the crime it will be used against you as an admission. For example, your neighbor has been robbed and killed. You tell the police you do not own a gun. The police officer testifies at trial that he did not tell you that your neighbor was shot. The prosecutor can now use your statement about not owning a gun as evidence that you must have known that your neighbor was shot, placing you at the scene of the crime.

4. The police do not have the authority to let you go or make deals. The police may tell you that it is better to confess or that you will be better off if you cooperate. The police may tell you that they will put in a good word for you with the Judge. The truth is that the only way a "deal" can be made is with the authority of the Solicitor or District Attorney.

3. There are always mitigating factors in any prosecution that may enable you to plead to a lesser charge and a lesser penalty. The police are working to convict you of the most serious crimes possible. Your attorney will be able to advise you of what offenses you are likely to be convicted of based on the state's evidence. In turn, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge if all your cards are not shown to the police.

2. Confessing just to get it off your chest is never a good idea. If you confess you give the police and the State a solid case and you get nothing in return. Do not be in a hurry to admit your wrongdoing. There will be an appropriate time to admit your guilt in a plea proceeding. Your attorney can negotiate a lesser punishment with the District Attorney in exchange for your guilty plea.

1. You can never help yourself by talking to the police. If you are being detained and questioned by the police, it is because they believe that you have committed the crime. If the police have enough evidence or "probable cause" to arrest you they will. The reason you are being questioned is to get you to make an admission that will later be used to convict you. You cannot convince the police of your innocence!