For over 37 years I have defended adults accused of crimes. My experience has ranged from misdemeanors to felonies, from property crimes to person felonies. I have defended clients in front of juries and judges in order to help them through this very difficult process.
Some general advice:
You need a lawyer NOW; not later, not after talking to the police. You need me now. Why, because if you don’t you will probably talk and that will probably hurt your case.
Exercise your right to remain silent.
DO NOT MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE POLICE. Remain silent. Even if they say, “If you don’t talk to me, I’ll arrest you.” Believe me they are planning on arresting you with or without a statement. They just want to close out the investigation with a confession. You do not have to talk to the police. You can give them your name, address, date of birth, but do NOT give a fact statement about what they are accusing you of doing.
Exercise your right to remain silent!! It is very hard to do this. Our human nature wants to explain everything to the police. STOP.
The police are trained to play on the human desire to talk. For example, the officer says to the suspect, “I just want to hear your side of the story. If you talk to me right now, I won’t arrest you. I’ll just give the report to the District Attorney and we’ll let them decide. I just want to clear this up from your perspective.” What they really mean is tell me everything, make my job easy. Give me a confession. Sure I won’t arrest you now, but I will tomorrow.
Giving a statement to the POLICE:
First, Don’t do it.
Second, Don’t do it.
Third, Don’t do it.
But if you just cannot resist giving a statement or you are absolutely positively sure that you can prove your innocence, then your statement should be the absolute TRUTH. If you lie, you are sunk. You will lose all credibility in a later trial.
If you find that in giving a statement the information is going to be used against you, STOP giving it. Just because you started talking doesn’t mean you have to continue. You can stop at any time.
If you are arrested and put in jail, do not talk to anyone about your case. Statements you make to anyone but your lawyer can, and I guarantee will, be used against you at trial. This means the jailer, the cellmate, the people on work crew, and the people with whom you are eating meals. Just be quiet about your case.
Polygraphs (Lie detectors):
Do not take a polygraph examination without first talking to a lawyer.
The results of a polygraph cannot be used at trial to determine whether you are guilty or not of a crime. It is usually used as a tool to eliminate you as a suspect at the investigation level or to get you to talk. For example, if you give a polygraph and the result is that they believe you are lying, the police polygraph operator will say something like: “Well it looks like that answer was deceptive. Is there some possible other explanation?” What they mean is, “You just lied to me, why don’t you just confess and get it over.”
I will frequently have you tested privately with a respected polygraph examiner. Under current law, I do not have to reveal that to the prosecutor. A private polygraph is like a one-way elevator. It can only work for you. If it comes back truthful, I’ll use it to try and convince the prosecutor to change their position. If it comes back deceptive, I have no use for it and I forget about it.
Talk to me only.
I need to know your case as well as you. I need specifics. I need witnesses, I need names, addresses and phone numbers of people who know. I need fact witnesses and character witnesses. I need to know the who what when where why and how of your case.
Be patient. No one gets the police reports until your case has been filed in court and you have been arraigned. This is well after the police have investigated the case.
Contact my office at: 503-399-9778