Q: When should I invoke my right to talk to a lawyer?
A: If asked by a police officer, always invoke your Constitutional right to speak to a lawyer.
Approximately once a week, I get a call from a client saying something like this:
“A police officer (or detective) wants to talk to me about a matter he or she is investigating. Should I talk to the officer?”
My answer is always unequivocally “No!”
If a police officer is investigating you, then you have a Constitutional right to deal with that police officer through a lawyer chosen and retained by you. You should deal with the police through your attorney because:
1. You don’t have the right to know what the officer is investigating.
2. You don’t know what evidence that officer has already collected during the investigation.
3. You don’t know what laws the officer thinks you may have broken.
4. Everything you say can and WILL be used against you in a court of law.
A skillful and experienced attorney can deal with the officer on your behalf to make sure that your Constitutional rights are protected in the investigation and to ensure that you don’t accidentally forfeit any of those rights.
When your liberty is at stake, don’t take any chances trying to handle the situation yourself. If you find yourself being investigated by the police, give me a call at Dearie, Fischer & Mathews, 513-228-6922.