All Americans have the constitutional right not to do anything that may incriminate them in a crime. You may think this right only pertains to criminal trials, but it also applies during encounters with police.
In light of this, you may wonder how so many say or do something that implicates them. Sometimes, anxiety may make you talk too much—other times, police tactics lead people into making incriminating statements.
Avoid these three bad habits when dealing with police
Since law enforcement has a duty to address crime, you can be sure they are motivated to gather evidence and make an arrest. Unfortunately, it is easier than you may think to incriminate yourself accidentally when dealing with Maryland law enforcement.
You apologize for something
For many, saying I’m sorry or a similar statement when they feel anxious or threatened is almost a compulsion. Unfortunately, even a sentence as sincere as “I’m sorry this happened” may give officers reason to investigate further.
You let them catch you off guard
Officers may start the encounter by setting you at ease before abruptly shifting gears and asking uncomfortable questions. This sudden change in police demeanor can take you by surprise and lead you to say something you shouldn’t have.
You confirm a probing statement
The police are not required to speak only truths when questioning individuals about criminal activity. That means they can lie and say they already have evidence against you. Your response (lack of surprise, overreacting, etc.) to such statements or questions could make you appear guilty.
One rule to live by
A foolproof way to avoid self-incrimination is not to answer police questions, and it really is just that simple. Whether you are still under investigation or facing charges, obtain representation before speaking further with law enforcement.