Most people are of the opinion that they can talk their way out of anything. These same people are wrong! As applied to speaking to law enforcement, these folks are terribly wrong and juries are convicting these folks based almost entirely on their own words and lies.
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides individuals with two important protections from the government. You read that right – the 5th Amendment provides INDIVIDUALS PROTECTION FROM THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT (THE POLICE)! Two protections – the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney. The remainder of this blog will focus on the right to remain silent.
The Experienced Denver Based Criminal Attorneys at LFM Defense Unequivocally Remind Everyone That They Have a Right Not to Speak with the Police (other than name, identifying information). If you or a loved one has been contacted by the police to give an interview, call LFM Defense immediately at (720) 644-5342. Don’t let them stand alone facing the government.
Imagine the Following:
A convenience store is robbed at gunpoint. Images from inside the store do not disclose the identify of the robber. Surveillance outside the store records a blurry image of a red sedan with “perhaps” Colorado license plate #XXXXXX. No physical evidence was left at the scene. Based on the plate, police pull the registered owner’s information. They call registered owner, identify themselves as police, and then start asking the registered owner questions – not about the vehicle but just “background” questions. Hey where do you work? Arbys. Nice, that seems like a good job? Its ok. How much do you work there? A few nights a week. Were you working there last night? Yes I clocked out around 3 a.m. Thanks thats really all I wanted to know. Later, the police verify the alibi (I wasn’t there I was at work) and find out the person didn’t work that shift and in fact had not worked there for months. Based almost solely on the description of the car and license plate and untruthful statement as to where the guy was during the robbery, a jury convicts the registered owner of the car for robbery.
The compelling evidence underlying the conviction is not a confession. Rather the compelling evidence underlying the conviction is a lie that the guy was at work at the time of the robbery. A reasonable jury is left to conclude – why would the guy lie unless he was guilty?
Clearly, had the owner just said, “hey, this sounds serious and I better talk to an attorney” then he would never had been charged and convicted of the crime. Specifically note – this is not a confession – I did it but rather simply a lie about being somewhere.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING, WHY WOULD YOU SPEAK WITH THE POLICE IN THE FIRST PLACE? THE DENVER BASED CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS AT LFM DEFENSE SUGGEST THAT YOU REMAIN SILENT.
Why speak to the police in the first place? Law enforcement are specifically trained in questioning persons (interrogation). The most widely accepted interrogation technique is deemed the Reid Technique or Reid and Inbau Technique. This method of criminal interrogation was developed by John Reid and Fred Inbau back in 1962. See, Reid and Inbau, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, 1962. Over the years, the method has been honed and perfected such that the definition of the Reid Interrogation technique is defined as “interrogation is an art whereby through the use of persuasion and observation the truth is elicited from a suspect by soul reasoning and understanding with the use of threats or promises.” The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation, John E. Reid and Associates, Inc. (Emphasis Added). Interrogation is an art!
The good cop / bad cop interrogation technique of days old, which was never effective, has been replaced by a psychological technique whereby the goal is simply to have the subject keep talking. The interrogator is trained to be patient, friendly, compassionate and understanding. They will ask questions simply to keep the subject talking before confronting the subject with undisclosed evidence or conflicting evidence.
I am always shocked in speaking with clients about how they felt the detective was on “their side” and they were really nice and understanding. It destroys the client’s confidence in the justice system when I have to tell the client that they were “played” by law enforcement and now based on the statements alone the government has a good and winnable case.
Rather, be polite with the police. Decline to speak based on your CONSTITUTIONAL right not to speak with the police and immediately retain an attorney.
Don’t speak with them. Don’t schedule an interview. DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF THE SITUATION! DON’T LIE!
Lisa Fine Moses, Carmen Brooks and Rob Werking, the Denver Based Attorneys at LFM Defense, understand the coercive police interrogation tactics and we protect our clients from such abuse. If you or a loved one has been contacted by the police to give an interview, call LFM Defense immediately at (720) 644-5342. Don’t let them stand alone facing the government.