Why You Should Never Talk to the Police Without a Criminal Defense Attorney in NYC

Why You Should Never Talk to the Police Without a Criminal Defense Attorney in NYC

Being questioned by police officers can be an incredibly stressful experience, even when you haven’t committed a crime. But not many people realize that simply talking to the police without a lawyer present is one of the most dangerous things you can do. It’s natural to want to try and explain your innocence to officers, but this can, and usually will, have disastrous consequences. Even speaking to the police as a witness carries a risk of being implicated in a crime, so always consult a lawyer beforehand.

The police want to speak to you when you’re alone, nervous, and unprepared. You’re more likely to panic and make a mistake, and they will pressure you to act against your best interests. Regardless of your innocence, an experienced criminal defense attorney will help protect your rights, speak on your behalf, and counsel you before considering making any statements.

If you talk to the police without an attorney, you risk incriminating yourself in a crime you didn’t commit. Police officers are trained to seek out inconsistencies in stories and elicit confessions and will often utilize scare tactics in interviews. Misleading questions, lies, deceptive “deals,” taking your statement out of context, and omitting key details are all manipulative tactics officers employ in their investigations.

Here we’ll examine in more detail the risks of talking to the police without a criminal defense lawyer, the duty of a lawyer, and clear up some common misconceptions about police interactions.

Potential Misunderstandings in Police Interactions

The law is such a vast and complex system of rules that it’s all too common for someone to fall foul of it through no fault of their own. Without an attorney, you won’t be able to comprehend the legal significance of your situation, and information you think will pardon you will often end up incriminating you in crimes you didn’t commit or even know you’d committed.

The police hold all the power in these situations – they have all the information, and you have none. Often people won’t even know they’re a suspect. Many people believe that law enforcement is not permitted to lie to you. Unfortunately, that is incorrect and the police often utilize lies to scare a suspect into making a confession or admission.

All too often, we see clients called into New York precincts for a “friendly conversation” with an officer ending up behind bars. Their mistake is threefold:

  1. Thinking that they don’t need a lawyer because they’re innocent.
  2. Thinking that they don’t need a lawyer because the police “just want to talk.”
  3. Thinking they can talk their way out of any trouble because they have nothing to hide.

If the police have asked you in for questioning, there is no talking your way out of it without a lawyer: they already believe you’re guilty, and any statements you make are going to be used to incriminate you.

Talking to a criminal attorney does not imply guilt

There is a common misconception that talking to a lawyer implies that you’re guilty. This could not be further from the truth – you have a constitutional right to a lawyer; it’s a guaranteed protection from the police and will shield you from incriminating yourself.

Always remember your Miranda rights: Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Anything you tell officers, no matter how innocuous or unrelated you think it may be, can be used against you in court. That’s why it’s so important to hire a criminal defense attorney. They act as an intermediary between you and the police – anything you say to your lawyer, the state can’t use against you.

If you are being detained in NYC, the only information you need to give the NYPD is your name. Beyond that, tell them that you want to speak to your lawyer and that you’re exercising your right to remain silent. The police may try to coerce you into speaking, but once you have exerted your right to talk to an attorney, any interrogation must end.

The Risks of Speaking to the Police Without a Defense Attorney

Talking to the police without an attorney present will almost always backfire, even if you’re innocent. If the police have enough evidence to charge you, nothing you say will change their mind, and you’re just further implicating yourself.

If they don’t have enough evidence to charge you, talking to them increases the risk of you giving them the evidence they lack. Without an attorney, you’re at an unfair risk of arrest and criminal charges. Your defense attorney is there to protect you and help level the playing field between you and the police.

You should assume the police are not on your side

If you’re ever contacted for questioning, you should assume that the police are not on your side – they’re building a case and will use any information they can to charge you with a crime. Police officers have their own biases and often believe innocent people are guilty with no proof; the more you talk, the more likely you will say something that will inadvertently incriminate yourself.

Even innocent people forget small details or misremember events when flustered in the interrogation room – these honest mistakes can, and will, be used to destroy your credibility. If, under duress, you tell a police officer a fact or detail that they know is untrue, they’ll believe you’re lying to cover something up. A simple mistake in your statement can raise suspicions, and some officers will take advantage of this to pressure you into saying what they want – this is how the police obtain confessions from innocent people.

A criminal defense lawyer will help you avoid miscommunication

Having a criminal attorney is crucial to avoid miscommunications or misrepresentations of your side of the story. In some instances when a person without a lawyer has expressed their statement of innocence perfectly, officers have misremembered details, taken things out of context, or omitted crucial parts of statements in order to charge and convict.

At the end of the day, it’s unlikely you’ll have as comprehensive an understanding of criminal law as our New York criminal defense lawyers. Our team are experts in dealing with the police; we’ll be able to find out whether charges are being prepared against you and help with your statement. Our lawyers know your legal rights and will sit with you during your police interview, advising you on which questions to answer and which to avoid. They’ll also ensure that local officers are following the correct procedures.

Why You Need an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

The New York criminal justice system is one of the largest and most complex in the United States, and the NYPD is the largest municipal police department in the country. Navigating these administrations can be incredibly confusing for anyone unfamiliar with local criminal law or NYPD practices – which can vary greatly from precinct to precinct.

Having an experienced New York attorney advising you as you navigate local bureaucracy is important. A local criminal defense attorney familiar with NYPD precincts and the court system will be able to provide expert representation. They’ll have critical knowledge of police procedures, local laws, and court practices and a huge network of connections within the community that they can call upon to support your case if needed.

Don’t take unnecessary risks

Whether guilty or innocent, any New York resident should always have a lawyer present when talking to the NYPD. Even if you insist on confessing to a crime, talking to the police without a criminal defense attorney in NYC is never a good idea. Why take unnecessary risks? Instead, hire our legal experts, who can help minimize the potential effects such acts could have on your criminal record.

If the police do charge you, our seasoned New York criminal defense attorneys are prepared to stand in your defense. We have experience with cases similar to yours and can negotiate with the district attorney on your behalf. Our expertise is often the difference between jail time and having charges dismissed. Hiring a defense attorney who is well-acquainted with local law enforcement, court officials, and the New York legal community can often affect the progression of your case.

Our New York criminal defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience dealing with the complex criminal justice system. They will help protect your rights during police interrogation and in a courtroom.

Have You Been Asked To Speak To The Police?

If you or any family members have been contacted for questioning, it’s crucial that you do not speak to the police without a defense attorney present under any circumstances. Contact The Law Offices of Julie Rendelman immediately for a free consultation. Our team has in-depth knowledge of local laws and a wealth of experience in dealing with police questioning. We regularly represent clients in various criminal cases, from white-collar crime to sex crimes to domestic violence investigations.

The Law Offices Of Julie Rendelman have a proven track record of successfully negotiating with the United States Attorney’s Office and District Attorney’s Office on behalf of our clients. Whether you’re a witness, a victim, or a suspect, if you’re in the New York area and the police are looking to speak with you, we strongly advise you to seek out the services of our experienced criminal defense attorneys to help support and guide you through the questioning process.