Personal Attention.
Aggressive Defense.

Photo of Thomas C. Mooney

Criminal defense: Communication pitfalls during investigations

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2024 | Criminal Defense

During a criminal investigation, it is not uncommon to find yourself in a high-pressure situation where every word is under scrutiny. Whether due to nerves or poor awareness of the risks, you could worsen your position simply by speaking. 

That is why it is vital to exercise your right to silence and to avoid incriminating yourself during police encounters (and if in custody). Here are other ways to control what you say, potentially reducing the risk of more legal trouble.

Do not speculate

Avoid making guesses or hypothetical statements about the incident with anyone, including detectives. These comments could implicate you or create inconsistencies that officers could use against you.

Do not discuss the matter

Your discussions with others about the incident, especially if in police custody or using a jail phone, may be recorded and used as evidence. It is best to avoid talking about the incident with others altogether.

Do not participate in small talk with police

Law enforcement may try to engage you in a casual conversation during an interview or interrogation. Unfortunately, the true objective may be to set you at ease in the hope you will incriminate yourself. 

Do not lie to or mislead investigators

Providing false or misleading information can result in additional charges. If you are worried about your situation, choose not to speak at all instead of lying to the police in desperation.

Following these guidelines can go a long way in helping you avoid self-incrimination – always a risk when under investigation or arrest. Another advantage of this cautious approach is that it gives your legal representative a good foundation for your defense, if necessary.