When the Police Call, How Do You Answer?

cop lights

One of the most daunting situations to be faced with in life is to be contacted by the police regarding a crime or a potential charge against you. An important factor to remember is that regardless of the circumstances, you are always allowed the services of an attorney when speaking with the police. If you make the decision to open the lines of communication with the authorities, there are always things to be on the lookout for. There are, of course, pros and cons of speaking with the police, but the most critical point in this process is in determining whether you should, or should not, talk to the police based on the particulars of your situation.


  1. If you are a victim it may point the police in the right direction:

  • As a victim of a crime, speaking to the police may help point them in the direction of the person who committed the crime or where they may uncover more evidence.
  1. It gets your side of the story out there quickly:

  • Many investigations are based on onesided accounts of the incident at hand, therefore getting your story out there and in the police’s view may help you avoid charges or in the instance that charges are filed, may help you at trial.
  1. If you have done nothing wrong it may end the process in the quickest way possible.

  • In a situation where you have been falsely accused or were not involved with the criminal activity being investigated, speaking with the police may end your involvement in the matter as quickly as possible.


  1. It is often a recorded statement that may be used against you:

  • Just about every statement given to the police is recorded. Often the police officer you are speaking to will use a cell phone or other recording device to record your conversation. Furthermore, many of the rooms that are used for interviews and questioning are video and audio recorded while in use. This means that if you make an incriminating statement it often will be recorded and can be used against you at a trial or further court proceedings.
  1. The police can lie to you and try and trick you:

  • One thing you may not know is that the police are allowed to lie to you. They can tell you that you’re just coming in to give a witness statement or a statement as a victim while you are actually a suspect. They are allowed to tell you that they are investigating something completely unrelated and still question you about a crime or potential charge. Finally, the police are allowed to make offers such as, “if you help us out we will do everything we can to help you.” This is not a guarantee and does not mean anything when it comes to the District Attorney’s office or the police charging you with a crime.
  1. Anything you say can be used against you, even if it’s unrelated to the original question:

  • We have all seen on TV where someone is read their rights after being arrested. The right, “anything you say can and will be used against you,” is one of those rights found in the Miranda warnings. This holds true for all interactions with the police. If you admit to anything that is illegal, even if unrelated to the original question or the original reason you spoke to the police, can be used against you and you can be charged with anything you admit to.

These are just a few of the factors to take into account when making the decision about whether or not to speak to the police. Remember, it is always important to think about protecting yourself and making sure you make the decision that is best for you. It is always in your best interest to speak to an attorney prior to having any conversation with the police.

If you have been contacted by the police or are planning to speak with them and would like the assistance of a lawyer, please contact us today and let us help you navigate this difficult situation.