Police interrogation is a normal part of investigations when you are suspected of a crime. While hot, bright lights bearing down on a suspect as cops pound them with questions may be more show business than reality, investigations are often heated and ugly. This is because law enforcement must do whatever it has to do to get the information it needs to determine if they’ve caught the right person.
As part of routine investigations, cops can say and ask anything in an effort to get to the truth. Police are legally allowed to lie or misrepresent information when they are conducting an investigation or an interrogation. They are allowed to lie about evidence that they collected in order to get a confession.
So, what can you do? First, ask for a lawyer. Once you request a criminal defense lawyer, the interrogation must stop. Cops are allowed to even tell you that asking for a lawyer makes you look even more guilty. They can tell you that you will get a better deal without a lawyer. Don’t believe them. Lawyer up.
Now, that being said, you should also know there are limits to how much cops are allowed to deceive people when they are trying to get evidence and confessions. Police are not allowed to lie to the point that it would force a person to confess to a crime that they didn’t commit. For example, a detective can lie to a person accused of robbery about whether or not his fellow robber confessed to the crime. The detective cannot, however, tell a woman that her children will be taken away from her if she doesn’t confess to a crime.
Additionally, police don’t have to tell you they are law enforcement. And, if they say that something is “strictly off the record,” it may still be on the record. Remember your Miranda Rights: anything you say can and will be used against you in court. In some cases, police will even lie about getting you a lighter deal if you confess to a crime.
If police have interrogated you or are currently charging you with a crime, choose a lawyer who will protect your rights and help you avoid making the common mistakes that others make. Don’t wait until you’ve said the wrong thing to a police officer to call a lawyer for help. Reach out to the offices of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC today.