The reality is that people from all walks of life find themselves subject to investigation by law enforcement at some juncture. In many cases, a police investigation may be undertaken after nothing more than someone casting an aspersion to a law enforcement official about illegality in your direction.
If you find yourself being investigated by a law enforcement agency, you have specific rights that you must preserve. There exist specific steps that you must take to preserve these rights should law enforcement request an interview with you.
Just Say No
The phrase “just say no” most often is associated with the drug war – which is a topic of discussion for another day. With that noted, the admonition of “just say no” has relevance when it comes to your rights in light of a request by law enforcement for an investigatory interview.
When all is said and done, you have no obligation to participate in a question and answer session with law enforcement when you appear to be the subject of a criminal investigation. The police inevitably will suggest that “things will work out better for you in the long run if you cooperate now and answer questions.”
The reality is that law enforcement officials are in no position to guarantee any type of “deal” regarding possible criminal charges that might be brought against you. In the final analysis, the whole purpose of interviewing you when you are the suspected of criminal wrongdoing is to attempt to obtain a confession. Barring a confession, the other purpose is to obtain a statement that can be used against you during later phases of criminal proceedings.
Consult an Attorney Immediately
If you get wind that you are being investigated by a law enforcement agency, your first response should not be to try and cooperate with the process. Rather, your immediate reaction must be to contact a capable, experienced attorney forthwith.
No matter how intelligent you may be, no matter how versed in the proverbial “ways of the world” you are, you simply do not have the unique skill set maintained by a tenacious criminal defense attorney.
A criminal attorney will be able to advise you as to whether a meeting with law enforcement is ever appropriate. Equally important, an attorney will be present at any questioning that may occur during an investigation.
An attorney will schedule an initial consultation with you at no cost. If a enforcement official contacts you regarding an interview in a criminal investigation, the direct response should be along the lines of “I will have my attorney get back to you.”