Criminal Law Q&A


Should I meet with a Detective or Police Officer who contacted me and wants to ask me questions or wants to get “my side of the story”?


Generally, the answer to this question is No! This tactic by the police is often an attempt to extract a confession from you or to get you to say something that can be used against you later in a criminal prosecution. Detectives and Police Officers go through hours of training on how to interview and interrogate suspects. The Detective or Police Officer may ask you questions in a way that is an attempt to trick you into answering the way they want you to answer. Matching your inexperience in answering questions under pressure against a Detective’s or Police Officer’s experience in persuading suspects to make incriminating statements is not a risk you should take. If your interaction with the Detective or Police Officer is not audio and/or video recorded then it is your word against theirs.

If you do find yourself in a situation where a Detective of Police Officer is asking incriminating questions the best approach is to tell the officer you will not answer questions without your attorney being with you and assisting you. Then hire an attorney or at least consult with an attorney before deciding whether or not you want to be interviewed by a Detective or Police Officer. Typically, it is not in your best interest to grant an interview to a Detective or the Police. Sometimes, the police don’t have enough evidence to arrest a suspect or have the suspect charged with a criminal offense until the suspect makes incriminating statements. Remember, you do not want your own words used against you in a criminal prosecution.