The short answer is no, you should not agree to talk to police or be interviewed by police before consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Of course, there are circumstances where it is advisable to answer law enforcement’s questions, such as when they ask you for your name during a traffic stop or if you happen to be a witness, and not a suspect of a crime, and they want to know if you want to provide a statement (if it is possible you are suspect, then ask to consult with an attorney before questioning–and if you don’t know if you are a suspect, then err on the side of caution and ask to consult with an attorney before questioning).
Sometimes police officers will invite you to come in to the station for a voluntary interview. They will say something like, “You’re not under arrest. You’re free to go whenever you like. We just want your side of the story.” They say this for a couple of reasons. One: they do not have to advise you of your Miranda rights if the interview is voluntary and you are not in custody (in other words, you’re free to leave). Some officers prefer utilizing this tactic, because often after reading Miranda rights to a suspect, he or she decides to exercise their right to remain silent. Don’t fall for this tactic. No matter what a police officer says, do not agree to an interview without consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
You may wonder whether hiring an attorney will make you look guilty. The police may think hiring an attorney makes you look guilty, and some officers might even say so to you. But the truth is that hiring counsel when you are confronted with any legal matter is smart. And smart people know this to be true. Also, rest assured that the fact that you hired an attorney cannot be used as evidence of guilt.
If the police want to interview you, please contact the attorneys at The Hardy Law Group, PLLC, for a complimentary consultation. Our attorneys have years of experience in dealing with police interrogations and can advise you on how to best protect your rights and liberty.