TALKING TO THE POLICE
If you’re under investigation for a crime, the time for self-help is over. Don’t talk yourself into a jail or prison sentence. Step #1 - contact a criminal defense attorney immediately for a confidential consultation.
Q: The police want me to answer a few questions. Should I go down to speak with them?
NO. Whether you are arrested or are asked to voluntarily speak with police, you should never subject yourself to police questioning without speaking to an attorney first. If you are taken into custody or are asked to come down to the police station to give a statement, you should politely tell the officer: "I would like to speak with my attorney." If the police are investigating a juvenile delinquency incident (i.e. criminal charges) for your son or daughter, you should politely inform the police officer that you and your son/daughter wish to speak with an attorney.
When police want to question you, they’re hoping you’ll be foolish enough to give them a statement or confession so they can solidify their case against you. Even if you are innocent, statements you provide to law enforcement can be “cherry-picked” for pieces that help them build a case against you. Regardless of whether or not you are innocent, you will NOT benefit in any way from trying to explain your actions to a police officer unless your situation is carefully vetted by a criminal defense attorney.
Q: The police officer told me he would put a good word in with the DA if I talk to him/her. Should I talk?
No. Call a criminal defense attorney in your area now. You should never talk to police until you've spoken with an attorney. Police officers may lie to you to get you to confess. Never let anything that a police officer, detective, or investigator says keep you from contacting an attorney. Here are some examples of the lies that will be used to get you to confess:
"The co-defendant already confessed and told us that you were involved.": More times than not, this is a lie. Even if true, co-defendant statements are not always admissible against you.
"If you're cooperative, we'll work with the judge to make sure you're released on bail." Only your attorney can fight for your release on bond.
"If you don't cooperate with us, we're going to throw the book at you." Police are trained to charge you with every possible crime that might apply, and they're going to throw the book at you regardless. If the police obtain sufficient evidence to charge you with a particular crime, they will charge you with the crime. Don't make it easier to convict you by speaking with them.
"If you're cooperative, we'll work with the DA to make sure you receive probation." The District Attorney’s Office controls what happens with your case. Your attorney must coordinate with the DA to reach a favorable resolution.
"Once you get a lawyer involved, I can't help you." This is completely false.
If you are asked to provide a statement to police, you should immediately contact the Zuckerman Law Firm, LLC for a free confidential consultation at 412-447-5580.
Q: Am I required to identify myself to a police officer who requests my identification?
A police officer has the right to ask you to identify yourself. If asked to provide ID, it is recommended that you cooperate. DO NOT give the officer a fake name, date of birth or social security number. If you do, you can be charged with providing False Identification to Law Enforcement, a 3rd Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1-year in jail.
Q: The police have asked for my permission to search me, my car or my house. Should I give them permission?
NO. Call a lawyer ASAP. You should never give the police consent to search you, your car, or your house. If a police officer requests permission to conduct a search, you should politely inform him or her that you do not consent to the search at issue. However, if the officer proceeds to search you, your car, or your home anyway without your permission, DO NOT intervene, resist arrest, or get into an altercation or argument with the officer(s), as this could lead to the filing of additional charges.
DO NOT consent to a search even when the police threaten to get a warrant and rip apart your house. They are simply trying to bully you into giving up your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Make the police establish to a district judge that they have the necessary probable cause needed to obtain the warrant. In many cases, the police simply won't go through the trouble. If the police conduct a search and arrest you thereafter, you should immediately contact the Zuckerman Law Firm, LLC for a free confidential consultation at 412-447-5580.
Q: Can I talk to my family about my case?
NO. You should not discuss the details of any criminal incident or investigation with anyone else but your attorney, unless given permission to do so by your attorney. Unlike discussions with your lawyer, statements you make to friends or family members are not privileged. Relationships change - and a person you trust today may call police tomorrow to tell them what you said.
IF YOU ARE UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR A CRIME IN WESTERN PA, OUR FIRM CAN HELP.
If you’re facing a criminal investigation in Pittsburgh or Western PA, you need an attorney to step in and help you before you make your situation worse. The Zuckerman Law Firm has provided pre-complaint assistance to those facing potential criminal charges. Our firm can help protect your rights and assist in contacting investigating officers on your behalf. For a free consultation, call 412-447-5580 today,.