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What To Do When Contacted By The Police

Many people believe that when contacted by the police there is no harm in talking. Unfortunately, they are mistaken and, as a result, serious consequences can occur.

Most people are unaware that police officers are allowed to lie to individuals during a criminal investigation.

Police officers are highly trained in the art of interrogation and the citizens who are asked to come to the station to answer "a few questions" are oblivious of police tactics and could cause serious irreparable damage by speaking. Without prior knowledge of the who, what, when and why for the police questioning, a person, innocent or not, may be headed for serious trouble without proper legal advice.

Recently, we were contacted by a distraught parent whose 13-year-old child had been interrogated by the police without the benefit of knowing why he was being called to the police station for questioning. After being blindsided by the questioning and coaxed into making certain statements, this child was wrongfully charged with a serious offense. The entire incident could have been avoided had a competent criminal defense attorney been contacted before allowing the child to be interrogated.

Competent criminal defense attorneys will do a complete investigation of the who, what, when, and why before advising a client. After completing an investigation, the attorney will then advise the client to either (1) not speak to the police or (2) to speak to the police with the attorney being present. Having an attorney present during any police interrogation will prevent any type of intimidation or miscommunication.

Words from the accused are critical in criminal defense cases. Some police interviews are not recorded leaving the facts regarding specific statements left up to the recollection of the police officer or his or her notes.

Hiring an attorney before talking to the police is not a sign of guilt; it is a sign of intelligence and understanding the serious consequences of blindly answering questions. Exercising your constitutional rights is a basic freedom of this country.

Please speak to a competent attorney if asked by the police to submit to questioning. We are available 24/7 to answer questions.

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Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

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