Should I Talk to the Police?


A police officer has made contact with you and wants to speak with you regarding an investigation where your name has come up. What should you do now?

Are you legally required to speak to the police?

Can you speak to the police with a lawyer present?

First and foremost, it is important to understand your rights. Legally you do NOT have to speak to a police officer and there is no penalty for choosing not to speak to a police officer. In addition, it is very important to understand anything you say at any time can be used against you. Therefore, anytime you choose to go speak to the police you must understand the implications that may have. Years down the road the things you say to the police can be played in a courtroom and used to build a case against you.

Second, you certainly have the right to have a lawyer present if you want to speak to the police. Not only do you have the right you should 100% have a lawyer present if you choose to speak to the police.

You should never talk to the police without first consulting with an attorney. Police officers are trained to obtain confessions, admissions, and inconsistencies. If you are innocent, they will use inconsistencies in your statements as evidence of guilt. There may be things that you did that make you look guilty which law enforcement will exploit. They may take your statements out of context or misunderstand you. When the officer later testifies at a hearing or at trial, they will testify to what they remember that you said, not to what you actually said.

Won’t it make me look guilty if I don’t talk to the police?

No, it will not. It makes you look like you understand and know your rights. Judges, police officers, and prosecutors all know the rules. If they were ever accused of a crime, the first thing most of them would do is pick up a phone and call a lawyer. This is a constitutional right and protection you should utilize. Once you obtain a lawyer, that lawyer acts as a buffer between you and the police or prosecution. We can get your story across and any information that is helpful to you, but the State can't use it against you. In other words, no police officer can take the stand and testify that your lawyer said that you admitted or confessed to committing a crime or made any incriminating admissions. Additionally, the prosecutor cannot tell the jury that you didn't talk to the police. Prosecutors can NOT at any time use your right to remain silent against you.


  1. Do I have to speak to the police if they contact me?
    1. NO. The Constitution of the United States gives you the RIGHT to remain silent and it can NOT be held against you if you invoke your right.
  1. Can I have a lawyer present when speaking with the police?
    1. YES. You can have a lawyer and should speak to a lawyer before speaking to the police.
  1. Will I look like I am hiding something if I don’t talk?
    1. No, this is what the police want you to think so you will talk with them. Not talking and remaining silent is your constitutional right. It can NOT be used against you at any point in the investigation or court process.


First, you should immediately contact a lawyer prior to speaking to anyone (including law enforcement). Second, know and understand your rights so you can put forth your rights confidently, politely, and calmly.