For the average person, encounters with the police are not common. As a result, most people are unsure what to do if contacted by the police regarding an ongoing criminal investigation. If you find yourself in this position a number of thoughts and questions may run through your head. Why do they want to talk to me? I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m not guilty. Should I talk to the police? Because most people are taught that the police are the good guys, your first instinct may be to cooperate with them if they contact you; however, there are several reasons why you should never talk to the police without first consulting an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney.
The first thing to remember is that the police have a reason for wanting to talk to you. Your name has come up in their investigation or they wouldn’t be contacting you. Unless you are the victim of a crime, this means you are potentially a suspect. This simple concept is very important. Law enforcement officers are trained to consider everyone a possible suspect, with the exception of a true victim, when investigating a crime. Your actual guilt or innocence is not the issue at the moment. The police are looking for someone to become their primary suspect and you could be it if you are not careful.
The next important thing to understand is that the police are trained interrogators. They question people all day long, every day. Your innocence is not, unfortunately, enough to prevent you from saying something that could implicate you in the crime. Simply admitting that you were at, or near, the scene of a crime, or that you know the victim, or even that you are familiar with the type of weapon used in a crime could be enough to place you at the top of the suspect list. Once at the top of the list it can be very difficult to get bumped down, much less off, the list. Keep in mind that innocent people are wrongly accused and convicted of crimes all the time.
Finally, don’t allow the police to convince you that asking to speak to an attorney makes you appear guilty. First, it doesn’t matter if it makes you look guilty to them. What matters is that you don’t say or do something that could incriminate yourself. Second, asking to speak to your attorney makes you appear smart, not guilty anyway. The truth is that the police hope you won’t ask to speak to an attorney because once you do they have to back off and stop questioning you so of course they will try and discourage you from doing so.
If you have been contacted by the police regarding an ongoing criminal investigation in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your options with an experienced criminal defense attorney.