Do's and Don'ts If You Are Suspected of a Crime

Usually, the first indication you will get that you are suspected of a crime is when you are contacted by police. Whether or not you are guilty, speaking to the police before speaking with a criminal defense attorney is not in your best interest.

In this situation, most people — especially those who are innocent — believe they can “talk” their way out of having charges filed against them. They want to be believed, so they make the error of trying to convince the police of their innocence. The truth is, in most cases, the police will not believe what you tell them since they are by nature suspicious of anyone suspected of a crime.

There are also instances where you believe you are innocent when, in fact, the law concerning the charge may be complicated and you may unknowingly implicate yourself by speaking with police. For example, you may have engaged in sexual relations with someone who lied to you about their age and you did not know he or she was a minor. By admitting you had sex with that person, you have just confessed to a crime.

The fact is, you do not have to talk with police because of your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. To be sure you know what type of information could incriminate you, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney. You also have the right to have an attorney present when you are being questioned, even if you have not yet been formally charged with a crime. Don’t throw away these important rights!

Although most of us were taught at an early age that the police are our friends, this is not true if you are a criminal suspect. The police are trained to elicit information from suspects and can trick and manipulate you to get what they want. The only evidence they need to charge you is based on probable cause, which is a much lower standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard a jury will use to decide your fate at trial.

If you are a suspect in a criminal matter, your best bet for achieving a positive outcome is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney from the moment you learn that the police are investigating you. Your attorney may be able to convince law enforcement not to file charges, or to lessen the charges against you. Most importantly, your attorney will prevent you from making statements to the police that will could incriminate you and weaken your case.

Whether you are facing a serious federal white-collar prosecution, a state murder charge, or misdemeanor charges, The Cogdell Law Firm has the experience, knowledge and reputation you want for your legal team. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or