A common question that comes up is whether you should talk to the police before you’ve been charged. Most people want to state their side of the story and hopefully avoid prosecution. However, as the Miranda warning states, anything you say can be used against you. As with most legal questions, there is no clear yes or no answer. And, you should always consult with a criminal defense attorney before take any actions. But here are a few considerations:
The Right to Remain Silent
A key Constitutional right is the right to remain silent. Rather than being forced to incriminate yourself, you have the ability to remain silent and let the state try to prove its case using other evidence. This is often a strong tool in a criminal case. Trying to eliminate all reasonable doubt using only other sources can make some cases difficult to prosecute. In these cases, you are often impairing your defense by providing information to the police. I have seen a number of instances where a case is built based on the defendant’s statements to the police.
Cooperation with Law Enforcement
On the other hand, I have also represented people who have successfully avoided prosecution by talking with the police. The police’s main role is to investigate allegations and determine whether criminal activity occurred. In some situations, my clients have successfully explained to the police that the allegations were unfounded and no criminal activity occurred.
The decision to talk to the police, even before a case is charged, can often have a critical impact on a criminal matter. If you are asked to speak with the police and are concerned that you might be charged with a crime, such as assault, drugs, theft, or prostitution, make sure that you contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer.