Claxton, GA criminal attorney Matt Hube provides the information on this page as general guidelines for surviving encounters with police officers. You should consult an attorney before deciding the best course of action in your particular case. Police encounters include any time you are stopped by the police, or have contact with the police in any way, whether written, by phone, or in person.
Police are trained to “look beyond the stop” when they have an encounter with a citizen. Looking beyond the stop includes asking questions to gauge your truthfulness, nervousness, mental clarity, and more. Nearly everyone is nervous to some extent when they encounter the police. Most of us do not have face to face discussions with the police on a regular basis. Usually when we encounter the police we are under some sort of stress – an auto accident, traffic stop, or we have witnessed, or been a victim to a crime. On top of being nervous because of the stress of the situation, we have additional stressors because we are dealing with a person with such high authority over our freedoms.
When you have a police encounter remember that you do not have to answer a question just because it was asked. We tend to think less clearly when stressed. Police and military recruits are trained to think and act under stress. Most of us never have that level of training. They are trained because it is not something that comes naturally. Whether you believe you are guilty of a crime or not, it is better to simply tell the officer who is questioning you that you do not want to answer any questions while you are stressed and would prefer to answer his questions later. If he persists in asking questions after you have told him this, then you are clearly under investigation for a crime, and need to contact Claxton, GA criminal attorney Matt Hube before talking any further with the police.
Anything you say will be used against you. Even if you think your answers will not – cannot – hurt you, you cannot know how your answers will be interpreted by the officer, by other officers reviewing the investigating officers reports or videos, the prosecutor who decides whether to file charges, or the judge or jury who will eventually determine your guilt or innocence. You are better off to tell the officer that you would like to consult with Matt Hube before answering any questions. The officer may still ask you questions, but do not answer them.
When the conversation turns casual, then the officer is secretly questioning you. One tried and true method for getting information from a suspect is to get him relaxed and engage him in a casual conversation. When a conversation turns from confrontational to casual people tend to drop their guard and answer questions without thinking through the consequences. Another twist on this technique is the “good cop, bad cop” routine that is now famous. It’s famous because when you transition from stressed to relaxed you are more likely to say things that will be used against you.
Before talking to the police in any situation contact Claxton, GA criminal attorney Matt Hube. Matt will advise you about your rights, and the risks associated with talking to the police. If it is in your best interest to talk to the police it is generally in your best interest to have an attorney present. Contact him today for a confidential case consultation.