If you’re like many people, you’ve heard that you’re not supposed to talk to the police without an attorney present – and for the most part, that’s correct. Here’s what you need to know about whether it’s okay to answer police’s questions (and when you absolutely shouldn’t).
You have the right to remain silent, and we suggest you use it. Your right to remain silent means that you don’t have to talk to the police when they ask you questions because they suspect that you’ve been involved in a crime.
For most people – even those who are completely innocent – the best thing to do is to talk to an attorney before talking to police.
But why should you avoid talking to police if you’re innocent? The main reason is that jails all over the country are full of innocent people who believed that the truth would come out eventually; they didn’t think they needed a lawyer because they hadn’t done anything wrong.
And if you’re guilty, whether you planned out a crime or you made a simple mistake, the last thing you should do is speak to the police. You should absolutely talk to a lawyer first. That’s because anything you say can (and almost certainly will) be used against you in court. The state of Illinois can use your own statements against you to make things seem worse than they really are, or to get others into trouble. Your best bet is to get legal advice from an experienced attorney before you open your mouth.
What if Police Tell You the Judge Will Go Easy on You if You Talk?
The police can make you promises all day long. They may say that the judge in your case will go easy on you if you tell the truth, or that they’ll talk to someone and get you released from police custody if you cooperate. Remember, though: The police are allowed to do these things to get you to talk, but they don’t have any authority to lessen your charges or get the judge to take it easy on you. The truth is that they just want you to confess to committing a crime so they can put away a “bad guy.”
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you – and don’t worry: It’s completely confidential. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free, private consultation with an experienced and skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney now.