If you are stopped by the police and end up being arrested, you may already know that you should keep your conversation to a minimum. You don’t want to say or do something that could imply that you were involved in a crime or be perceived as an admission of guilt.
That being said, if you don’t have anything to hide, should you still get an attorney? The simple answer is, “yes.” Even if you know that you’re innocent and that you have no reason to be incriminated, it’s not a good idea to talk to the police without speaking with your attorney or having them present first.
Why should you use an attorney when speaking with the police?
The main reason why you should have an attorney when speaking to the police is because of the risk of saying something that could hurt your case. You might know that you’re innocent, but the police have to have a reason for taking you back to the station. They may already suspect you of a crime or have evidence that points to you as the person who caused a crash or who committed fraud, for example, but without your attorney, they may not be clear about which charges you’re facing (if any).
The nice thing about working with an attorney is that they know your rights. They can help you know when you’re obligated to speak to the police and when you can ask the police to allow you to leave. Your attorney will take action to find out why you’re being accused of a crime and help you exercise your rights to protect you.
Interrogations, in particular, create a risk of you saying something incriminating. You may be interrogated for many hours, or the police may take actions to make you feel uncomfortable, which makes you more likely to say what they want to hear. For example, while the initial conversation may not be confrontational, it may become confrontational to make you react. An attorney knows these tactics and will take steps to protect you.
If you’re arrested, know your rights. Ask to speak with someone who can help, so you can protect yourself.