Do I Have To Talk To The Police?
If you are arrested for a crime, police may try to get information from you. They may ask questions about who else was involved or other details about the alleged crime. They may even pressure you to answer by saying they can help you or saying they have evidence against you.
In this situation, it is difficult to know what to do. You may be confused about your rights and unsure of your obligations. You may be wondering: Do I have to talk to the police?
You Do Not Have To Talk To Police
I am attorney George F. Hildebrandt, and I have been practicing criminal defense in Syracuse, New York, for more than 30 years. I know the tactics that police use against people they have arrested. I also know that you do not have to talk to police.
In fact, it is your right to remain silent. You are under no obligation to answer questions from police or investigators. If police begin to question you, your best option is to tell them you want to talk to an attorney.
What Can Happen If You Do Talk?
Talking to the police after you arrested will likely not do anything to improve your case. If you have been arrested, police have already decided to charge you with a crime. Trying to talk your way out of it won’t help. In fact, it may hurt your case.
The same may be true even if you are not being arrested but are being interviewed by police who suspect you of having committed a crime. They may already have evidence against you or have decided to charge you.
It is possible for certain comments to be constituted as admissions of guilt — even if that is not what you intended. Additionally, if you are working with federal investigators, it is a crime to lie to them. Saying something that isn’t true could lead to even more charges against you.
For these reasons, it is best to stay quiet until you can speak with a lawyer.