The important thing to remember when being interviewed by police is that the primary purpose of a police interview is to gather evidence. Interrogations by the police can be quite intimidating. They have guns, a uniform, an intimidating demeanor and can be quite physically imposing. They may request for you to "make a statement" as to what happened in writing, or just ask you questions in a nonofficial manner. The police will tell you that by making a statement they can tell the Prosecutor on your case that you were "cooperative." The insinuation is of course, that if you refuse to make a statement that you will be seen as uncooperative and therefore punished more harshly. The entire scenario is setup into pressuring you to give up your Constitutional rights.
What are your rights in a police interview? I outline these in depth on our blog post on Miranda Rights. What's important to remember is that you have the right to remain silent at all times. Unfortunately, many defendants fail to exercise this right as often as they should. Generally speaking, your silence can not be used against you as evidence in this scenario (though more nuanced situations may call this into question).
Secondly, you have the right to have an attorney present while you are questioned. This doesn't mean that if you're arrested in the middle of the night the police will usher an attorney to your side immediately. But when you do retain an attorney you may have them present during any interviews with the police.
According to Miranda, the police cannot continue to question you once you have unequivocally expressed that you will not answer any questions without an attorney present. However, if you then continue to voluntarily give them information of your own accord, this can and will be used against you. Ignoring the police altogether isn't necessarily in your best interests, either. In any case, your best bet is to consult with an attorney immediately.
If you've been arrested for a criminal offense such as DUI, Sex Crime, Violent Crime, or aDrug Crime, or even if the police have called you to come down to the station to answer some questions, your best bet is to have an attorney at your side to protect your rights.Attorney Frank Walker is an experienced criminal defense attorney in who can counsel you and successfully handle police interviews to protect your rights. Call any time of the day or night. The lines are open 24/7 to field your questions and calls. Set up a consultation today!
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyerand Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.