Know Your Rights: Confessions and Speaking with the Police
Updated: Apr 2
If you are suspected of a crime or did something wrong the last thing you want to do is to speak with the police. The police generally try to speak with a suspect prior to charging them with any crimes and try to get a confession. Many times, the strongest piece of evidence against a defendant is their own words. A confession can be difficult to overcome at trial and can help the police piece a case together.
There are generally two types of situations where a person may be asked to speak with the police. If a person is arrested they are brought to the police station and asked questions. Another way is the person is not arrested and is asked to voluntarily come to the police station to answer some questions. If the police are asking a person to go to the police station and not arresting them, the individual is not required to go to police station. The person could certainly feel pressured into going with the police, but that isn’t a good idea. However, if the person is under arrested, the individual must go, should not run, or fight the police because it will only make the situation worse.
Whether the person is arrested or voluntarily goes to the police station, the person has a right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer. At no point should any suspect speak with the police without a lawyer. It is a huge mistake to speak with the police without a lawyer present. The truth is if the police believe a person committed a crime, there is really nothing an individual can say during an interrogation that can prevent charges from being filed. Most people that don’t ask for an attorney or don’t choose to remain silent hope that their cooperation can somehow sway the police. The police have a job to do and their job is to catch the person that committed the crime.
The police will try to sway people into talking to them and confessing to crimes with different interrogation techniques. Some of these techniques has been found to bring upon false confessions and false convictions. The courts have even ruled that a confession can be used even if the police lied to a suspect to obtain the confession. With knowing all of that, it is never a good idea to speak with the police without an attorney.