For the average person, interactions with the police are often a bit frightening – particularly if it appears that you are a suspect in an investigation. If you find yourself in a situation where the police call you in for questioning, should you ask for a lawyer before agreeing to talk to them? Doesn’t that make you appear like you have something to hide? Because it is important to know the answers to these questions, here’s how to handle being questioned by police.
What You Need to Know about Police Questioning Procedure
If the police want to talk to you, it is imperative that you make the assumption that you are a suspect in a criminal investigation. For a law enforcement officer, you are either a victim or a potential suspect until you can be ruled out as a suspect. They may tell you that you are not a suspect. They may assure you they just have a “few quick questions.” They may even make it sound like you are helping them solve the case. No matter what they tell you, it is in your best interest to operate under the assumption that you are viewed as a suspect.
Know Your Rights When Being Questioned By the Police
You are undoubtedly already aware that you have a right to remain silent. That right only protects you however, if you exercise it when necessary. Other than providing basic identifying information, you are never required to answer questions posed by a police officer. As soon as you’re being asked questions, politely and respectfully decline to answer questions and ask for a lawyer. You may exercise your right to remain silent at any time, even after you already answered some questions. As soon as you do that, the police are legally required to stop questioning you immediately.
Doesn’t Asking for a Lawyer During Interrogation Make Me Look Guilty?
This is a common belief and one that the police exploit to their advantage. They may even say something like, “Why do you need a lawyer if you didn’t do anything?” Once again, you have to remember that they already consider you a suspect. Asserting your right to an attorney cannot hurt you, but it could be the key to preventing you from being arrested, charged, and convicted of a crime. Ultimately, if your attorney believes it is in your best interest to cooperate with the police, you can always do so with your attorney present. You cannot, however, take back something incriminating that you said to the police without an attorney present.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If the police call you in for questioning, it is in your best interest to assert your right to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Doing so may be the key to retaining your freedom. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today by calling (312) 644-0444 or by filling out our online contact form.
This blog is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on specific legal questions.