Should I Talk To The Police If I’m Not Under Arrest?

by J.D. Garrett on June 9, 2012

In criminal defense law, there are two truisms when it comes to Miranda Rights – first, most everyone knows what they are; and second, hardly anyone ever invokes them. Any criminal defense attorney will tell you, it is never a good idea to talk to the police about a criminal charge or pending investigation. If you exercise your rights under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, this can never be held against you. Even the mere mention by a prosecutor that you chose to remain silent and not give a statement to police about the charges is grounds for a mistrial.

If you have been charged with a crime, the sole purpose of police interrogation is only to strengthen the case against you. Their goal is to have you change your story or contradict a prior statement, catch you in a lie, or simply to give a confession. Of course none of these are in your best interest. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you should immediately demand that you be allowed to speak with an attorney prior to responding to questions.

When you are the subject of an investigation, or a person of interest, any statements you make to law enforcement are admissible in court against you even if you have yet to be charged. As above, nothing you tell the police can help you. In fact, there are only two possible scenarios when you are asked to talk to the police: 1) the police have enough evidence to arrest you and want your statement to improve their case, or 2) the police do not have enough evidence to arrest you and are looking for you to give it to them. Either way, you lose.

My rule of thumb is to never under any circumstances talk to the police, unless you are the victim of a crime, or you know as an undeniable fact that you are a completely innocent eye-witness to a crime. Under any other scenario, always seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer before answering any questions by police.

If you have been charged with a crime in Virginia Beach, or you think you are under criminal investigation, contact a Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyer today. (757) 422-4646.


J.D. Garrett is a criminal law attorney in the Virginia Beach office of Garrett Law Group, PLC. He has years of experience representing clients in the courts of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and surrounding areas.

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