It can be awfully daunting to get a phone call asking you to come down to the police station for questioning. You’re probably a bit panicked and unsure of what to do next. Wondering if you have to go in, what will happen if you do, and if you need a criminal defense attorney to come in with you just for questioning. Let’s break it down.
Do You Have to Go?
The straightforward answer is no; law enforcement must either have a subpoena or arrest you before you are legally obligated to talk to them. However, there are some things to take into consideration before you decide not to go.
First, how does it look to law enforcement if you decline? It’s not typical that innocent people take issue with explaining their version of events to the authorities if they’ve done nothing wrong. Nonetheless, you’re most likely aware of how some suspects are treated and know that confessions are sometimes coerced out of innocent people.
The bottom line is that they do not currently have enough evidence against you to arrest and press charges, but how do you know if you should go in or not? Consult with a Fort Collins criminal defense lawyer. Yes, it will cost you money, but it can make a massive difference.
If You Do Choose to Cooperate, Should a Lawyer Be Present?
Absolutely. We’re not just saying that because it’s our job, either. You need to take them with you to the very first questioning and to everything related after that. Simply put, law enforcement knows the law and so do we. We know all the tricks in the book, and can help you navigate that in a way that does not incriminate you, even if you are innocent.
How Can Having a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
A criminal defense attorney by your side when you speak to the authorities gives you an ally with knowledge of their tactics. This provides you with more security during questioning, and alleviates the chances of you saying something incriminating. Police are focused on getting the answers they want out of you, and they are trained to ask questions in a way that achieves this, so you need someone there to assist you.
The Bottom Line
It is certainly important to be honest when it’s in your best interest, but there are times when you should not say anything at all, regardless of your innocence. A criminal defense attorney understands your legal situation, so you will not receive any unwarranted criminal punishment. You’ll always have the right to remain silent, and oftentimes that is what we advise our clients to do in their own best interest.
If you must go speak to law enforcement, you need a criminal defense attorney there to protect you.