A police-directed Q&A session is nearly always stressful, but when the authorities want to talk to you about a murder, it can be downright scary.
Most people are nervous when the police talk with them about a crime, but when do you need to worry? Their questions might not mean you are a suspect, but a dose of caution is wise during these police interactions.
Two ways to protect yourself
As you may know, law enforcement uses many methods to investigate murder and other crimes. They gather evidence, search for witnesses and interview suspects and those who may know something about the incident.
It may not mean you are a suspect if they want to talk with you, but since you can’t know that for sure, these tips may protect you during police questioning.
Exercise your rights: Remember that what you say to the police may be used against you later. Under the U.S. Constitution, you have no obligation to answer officers’ questions beyond your name. You can politely decline an interview. If they demand answers, tell them you will not speak without legal guidance.
Know the tricks: Law enforcement officers have broad latitude in what they can say and do when investigating crimes. For example, they can lie about any number of things. Many have been trained to subtly (or blatantly) intimidate people into divulging incriminating information.
Stay alert for these and other manipulation tactics if you decide to speak with the police.
In Maryland, the penalties for murder include the possibility of lifetime incarceration. If you are worried the police are investigating you for murder, explore your defense options as soon as possible.