Should I Talk to the Detective that Contacted me About a Possible Crime?
People frequently contact our office after they have been arrested and charged with a crime. But in certain situations we could have prevented the charges from being brought all together.
Many people unintentionally harm themselves by discussing their case with a detective. When a detective calls you in reference to a criminal matter, you should always contact your attorney before providing a statement of any kind. The detective may say that he is “just trying to get your side of the story” or that he is “not going to arrest you, he is just trying to figure out what happened.” Always remember: THE DETECTIVE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. He is trying to collect as much evidence about a possible criminal case as he can, and evidence such as your own statements may eventually be used against you if you are prosecuted for a criminal offense.
Many people believe that the police will suspect they have done something wrong if they contact an attorney prior to communicating with a detective. Is this possible? It is. But mere suspicion on the part of the police is not enough to prosecute you for a crime. What they need is probable cause to believe that you have committed a criminal offense. And in many situations what you say in a voluntary statement may turn out to be their best evidence against you.
However, there are limited situations in which a statement to the authorities can be crucial in clearing your name. What if you have information that excludes you as a suspect? What if you are able to assist in an investigation in exchange for immunity from prosecution? These are matters that must be carefully considered with the assistance of a legal expert.
If a police officer or a detective contacts you regarding a criminal investigation, ALWAYS tell them that you would like to consult with your attorney prior to making any type of statement. Remember, this is not only the smart thing to do, it is your right under the law.
If you find yourself in this situation please contact our office immediately. We have extensive experience representing clients’ interests throughout all stages of a criminal case, and we would be happy to do the same for you.