Are you currently involved in an ongoing police investigation? Have they contacted you and asked you to come into the station for a conversation? If you have not yet retained a criminal attorney, now might be the time to do so. Even if you're completely innocent, it's often unwise to submit to a police questioning session without an attorney present. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to talk to the police on their own. They may feel that simply cooperating and being forthcoming will help them avoid any charges. However, here are three reasons why that line of thinking may be a bad idea, even if you're innocent:
There's often little to gain from talking to the police at the station. Keep in mind that the police have only one goal, and that's to arrest the person or persons that they believe are most likely to be involved in the alleged crime. They'll base that decision off of the evidence they have available. When you are go into the police station for a scheduled conversation, it's because they believe that you have information that will help them strengthen their collection of evidence.
Also, if they ask you to come to the station, that is a strong indication that you are a person of interest, if not a full suspect. They want to interview in an environment where you may be less than comfortable. If you were not a person of interest, they would likely make the conversation more comfortable and convenient for you by interviewing you in your home or place of business. At this point, it's unlikely that you will be able to simply talk your way out of being a suspect. An attorney can make sure you don't dig a deeper hole for yourself.
Police usually aren't authorized to approve deals. You may think that if you're helpful, the police may be able to get you a more lenient punishment. Especially if you are guilty in some way, this could be a good line of thinking. However, keep in mind that your sentencing will go through the court system and must be approved by both the prosecuting attorney and the judge. That means that even if you help the police, there's no guarantee that you will get a deal. An attorney, however, can usually get all the appropriate parties involved and negotiate the deal in advance so your cooperation is rewarded.
Any discrepancy can be used against you. Even if you're innocent, most police departments and prosecutors can use any form of discrepancy against you. For all people, including innocent people, it can be difficult to tell the exact same story multiple times in the exact same manner. If you mess up a date, location, person's name, or other important point, the police could use that slip-up as a sign that you're being less than honest. An attorney can help keep the conversation focused and streamlined so you won't be in a position where you could accidentally contradict yourself.
For more information, talk to a criminal defense attorney such as Scott L. Kramer Law Office. He or she can help you determine whether you need help during your conversation with police.