How to Politely Refuse to Speak to the Police Until Your Lawyer Is Present
It happens every day in this country. A police officer contacts or approaches you, saying that they want to ask some questions. He or she won’t use the word “interrogate,” but that’s basically what they intend to do. Although you can – and should – refuse to speak to the police without your lawyer being present, it is important that you do so calmly and politely. Inform them that you do not want to answer any questions until you’ve had the chance to confer with a legal advisor.
It can be difficult to keep asserting your rights while in police custody, but stand firm without being confrontational. The police may tell you that if you cooperate, things will go better for you. Keep stating that you want to speak to a lawyer. Once you’ve met with one, you shouldn’t be questioned again.
It is in your own best interest to discuss your case only with your attorney. Without their guidance, you might admit to things that make you look guilty even if you aren’t, such as having had consensual sex with a complainant. You might even be tempted to lie about facts that make your guilt appear likely, and lying to the police is can be disastrous. If even one lie can be identified and your case goes to trial, the prosecutor can point out to the jury that failure to tell the truth proves “consciousness of guilt.”
When you retain a lawyer, he or she should consult thoroughly with you, contact the police, and inform them that you are now represented by counsel and that they may not question you any further. At this point, the police may inform the lawyer that they intend to arrest you. Don’t be alarmed into breaking your silence. Maintain your stance of politely refusing to answer questions when your lawyer is not present. As frightening as being arrested can be, you will only make matters worse by speaking to the police.
If you or a loved one have been arrested, you need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us at 214-368-2560 and let us go to work on your case!