July 2, 2013 • Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Five Big “Lies” from Police Questioning
If you are suspected of committing a crime, here are five reasons why you should NEVER talk to the police except to say these magic words: “I WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER.” The police only want you to incriminate yourself and the only reason they are talking to you is to strengthen the case against you.
So if the police call you on the phone or come by your residence and place of business and even though they may tell you that you’re not under your arrest, even if they don’t read you your Miranda rights. No matter what, be respectful but firm. Get the name and contact information of the police officer or detective who wants to talk to you, tell them you are going to talk to your attorney, and that your attorney will be in touch with them.
So with that in mind, here are the five “big lies” that the police want to talk to you if you’re suspected of committing a crime:
LIE #1: “I want to give you a chance to tell your side of the story.”
TRUTH #1: They want you to tell your side of the story alright. The police are highly trained and skilled in getting people to make incriminating statements. They want you to incriminate yourself and they’re highly trained in getting you to incriminate yourself.
LIE #2: “I need to close the investigation, but I can’t do it until I get your statement. Come down to the police station so I can talk to you. It’ll only take a minute and it’s just routine.”
TRUTH #2: This is to trick you into thinking you’re not a suspect. The detective is also banking on the fact that most people want to view themselves as law-abiding and are inclined to want to help the police if you appear helpful. When you walk into that police station, you are walking into a trap.
LIE #3: “I already have enough evidence to arrest you.”
TRUTH #3: OK, then tell them to arrest you. If they have enough evidence to arrest you, they’ll arrest you whether you make a statement or not. And if they’re going to arrest you anyway, there is NO benefit in talking.
LIE #4: “If you just admit what you did, I’ll let you go home and you won’t get arrested.”
TRUTH #4: Come on now. Really?
LIE #5: If you just tell me what you did, I’ll tell the prosecutor to take it easy on you.
TRUTH #5: The job of the prosecutor is to prosecute you. In places like California and in the federal government, that usually means pursuing harsh punishment. The cop is not going to put in a “good word” for you. The cop is going to write a report with your incriminating statements, put it in a pile of other cases, and take that pile of cases to the prosecutor. By the time the case is prosecuted, this “promise” will be long forgotten.
One last thing: No police officer or federal agent can offer you immunity. Only a prosecutor can do that and prosecutors only make deals with criminal defense attorneys. So unless you have a lawyer negotiate an immunity agreement with the prosecutor and you sign that agreement, then there is no deal.
BOTTOM LINE: If the police want to talk to you, follow the rules discussed in this article and contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. You can call The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg at 310-210-0744 anytime.