Do you have an upcoming interview with the police about a crime? A police interview can be scary and nerve-wracking. Even if you are innocent, the experience can cause great stress. You may be tempted to go into the interview without a lawyer present. After all, if you're innocent, why would you need a lawyer? You may feel that having a lawyer would make you look guilty. Many people make this assumption, but it's usually a mistake to go into a police interview without a lawyer present, especially if you are a person of interest. Below are a few ways a lawyer can help you during the interview:
Clarify false information. Believe it or not, the police are not obligated to be honest with you during an interview. In fact, they can completely lie if it will help them obtain information. They can tell you that you failed a polygraph or that they found your DNA at the scene. They can tell you they have a witness who places you at the scene. They can say anything they want to obtain information or a confession. A lawyer can identify these tactics and cut them short before you answer. The lawyer can request proof that verifies the police officer's claims and prevent you from unwittingly incriminating yourself.
Counter false science. Police use a wide range of interrogation techniques to elicit a confession. For example, they may say your lack of eye contact is a sign of guilt. They could say your body language doesn't show enough grief for the incident. They could interpret your body language in many ways and suggest you are lying or guilty. A lawyer can counter these claims as junk science and shut down the conversation before it goes any further.
End the interview. Many people believe they can't leave a police interview until the police give them permission. However, this is not true unless you have been arrested. Otherwise, you're free to leave whenever you want. Some police will extend the interview as long as possible to get a confession. They may deny you restroom breaks or glasses of water in an effort to make you more and more uncomfortable. This can sometimes lead to innocent people making false confessions. A criminal defense attorney can ensure you get restroom breaks and end the interview when appropriate.
Don't go into your police interview alone. Contact a criminal defense attorney today to learn how to protect yourself in your interview.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.