We are often asked, what should I do if I find myself as a suspect in a criminal investigation? Here is our advice.
Every case is different, but it’s usually not a good idea to speak with a law enforcement officer without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
- Words matter – how something is said often describes an element of a crime, such as intent.
- When being interviewed by a police officer, people are typically nervous and may say things they really don’t mean.
- Sometimes even though attempting to be accurate, a police officer’s notes leave out phrases that would tend to help show that no crime was committed by you.
- The police officer’s goal is to solve a crime, not provide a defense.
- Under a new Michigan law, it is also a crime to give information that is false and in attempting to explain yourself, you might end up committing a crime by misstating a fact.
Accordingly, our recommendation is if contacted for an interview, in most cases, it's best to politely decline such an interview by simply stating, “I’d be glad to talk to you, but I want to speak with my attorney first, and either he/she or I will get back to you and set up a time for us to talk.”
After you’ve had an opportunity to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you and your attorney will then decide if it’s in your best interest to meet with a police officer. If so, your attorney will likely be present at such a meeting and will also likely suggest tape recording that meeting to ensure the accuracy of what was said or not said.
For more information, contact our law firm and obtain a copy of Joe's book, Guilty Until Proven Innocent, or schedule an appointment to meet with me or one of my attorneys at Barberi Law.