Weinstein Law Blog

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Contacted by Police

Most of us were raised to trust the police.  We naturally believe that if an officer, detective or agent is calling us about an “investigation,” that we should “cooperate.” For most of us, it would not even cross our minds that in most cases, the result of the investigation have already been decided.

What do I mean?  I am talking about one of the most confusing and simplistic police tactics out there: making direct contact with the soon to be defendant and simply telling them “we need to talk at the precinct.”  It is no fault of law enforcement that they do this.  This is the way for the police to safely and easily make an arrest while also getting statements out of you. 

They are able to do all of this while under the legal fantasy of conducting an investigation.  They are not telling you that you will be arrested, rather they are acting as if what you have to tell them may get you out of a bind.

The classic example is the assault case.  Person A and Person B get into a physical fight.  Person A started the fight and simply lost.  Person B has a valid self-defense claim.  However, Person A is upset and makes a police report.  When Person B is contacted by the police and told “come in to tell your side of the story,” do you think the story will matter?  NO, in most cases the decision to arrest you has already been made.

What do I do then? You contact a competent and experienced attorney after the police get in touch with you.  You do NOT SAY ANYTHING to the police on the phone but tell them your attorney will call them back.  You DO NOT GO TO THE POLICE WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY.

A competent and experienced attorney will set up a surrender and be able to get ahead of the case early on, significantly increasing your chances of release at arraignments.

Always remember, you have the right to obtain an attorney even before you are arrested.  You need a strong and experienced lawyer to protect your rights. 

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As a former prosecutor, I fully understand the power law enforcement has. As a trial attorney, I know the law seems very scary.