A Guide to Handling Police Interrogations
Normally, police officers must issue a warrant before arresting a person of a crime. But if there is an urgency and probability of danger, then a police officer can come into any property and arrest the accused person through what only counts as a probable cause.
An arrest usually leads to interrogation, a technique used by police officers to extract information and make a suspect confess. For many years, it has been argued that interrogations are unfair to the accused because of the use of psychological oppression and physical force by some officers. This leads to false confessions and unjust incarcerations of innocent people. Atty. Ross Goodman, a trusted Las Vegas defense lawyer, can help you in case you or someone you know encounters a police interrogation in the future.
Types of interrogation
Depending on the situation, a police officer will try different ways of interrogation. Here are the two types you should watch out for:
A friendly conversation
An interrogation is not only confined in a brightly lit room. Police officers can stop your stroll for a “casual conversation.” The fact that they disrupted your private matters means that you or someone you know is already a suspect. Exercise your rights against self-incrimination by not answering anything even if the questions sounds “friendly.”
A forbidding detention
It is a terrifying experience to be restrained by the police. Detention usually begins when you are subjected to reasonable suspicion. It usually takes an ample amount of time as police officers will perform different methods to bring out a confession. You are not arrested yet, however, you are invited into the police department for questioning.
You should first clear the air before you make any move. Ask the police officer if you are detained. If they say you are not, then you have the right to leave. When you are detained, invoke your rights to counsel and remain silent. There is also a high probability that the police officers are aiming to arrest you. They are just waiting for enough evidence and information to do so.
Police interrogation tactics
According to the law, the police force is not permitted to use physical and psychological intimidation or force. However, they can lie and fabricate stories to navigate an interrogation towards their desired endgame: arrest.
Furthermore, remember that during an interrogation, cops question solely based on their own perspective. You have to be mindful of what you say if you chose to speak as they are never on your side.
Here are some of the techniques which police officers are likely to use during an interrogation:
Good Cop, Bad Cop
There are two kinds of cops during an interrogation. The first is the Good Cop, the friendly helping hand; while the other is the Bad Cop, the aggressive and intimidating one.
This is one elaborate ploy by the cops wherein you will be left in the confinement for a little while before both of them enter. The Bad Cop will try to scare you before you leave the room. When your guard is down because you feel threatened, the Good Cop will swoop in using a gentle approach to ease out a confession.
“We will let you go” tactic
Do not trust the police officers when they say that you are allowed to leave once you confess. You are detained so it is highly expected that you are a suspect waiting to be charged once a confession is obtained.
Saying “Your confession is the only one needed”
Do not fall if a police officer says that evidence and witnesses’ accounts are already in place and your confession is the only one missing to incarcerate you. Usually, the police does this to make you nervous. Keep your emotions at bay as adrenaline can make you blurt something you do not mean. There is no need to be anxious if you are not guilty of the crime.
Saying “I am going to arrest you”
Police officers can also tell you that you are doing an obstruction of justice by not saying anything. This is not true. They cannot touch you violently, move you, or even charge you anything during interrogations so you should stay relaxed.
The best and simplest move during an interrogation is using the Miranda Rights. This is a warning commissioned by law that grants a suspect the right to remain silent and that everything he or she says will be used against him or her during court trials. The police has no power over Miranda Rights. If you stay silent, they will have to respect it.
When a police fails to read the Miranda Rights or something similar before performing a questioning or a full-on interrogation, anything that you will say are invalid. But in special cases, you can still be charged by the prosecutor even if there is a faulty reading of the Miranda Rights through the use of different evidence.
If you happen to agree to the interrogation, you still have the power to stop it through the help of the Miranda Rights. Simply say that you are not going to answer anymore and it should prompt the police to stop the interrogation.
Wait for your lawyer
Everyone has the right for a lawyer. Las Vegas defense lawyers offer trusted services to help you out of a case. When detained, you can wait for your lawyer to advise you on what to say. Sometimes you should not keep quiet during the entire interrogation as giving a statement, albeit a measured and cautious one, is sometimes better than refusing.
In case you gave a false confession
It is still not too late for you even if you already gave in to a confession. Your defense lawyer can still appeal for suppression of evidence or prevention of the evidence to be used in trials. The actual interrogation will be questioned in matters of accuracy and credibility. Possible defenses are:
- The interrogation was not Mirandized.
- The rights to counsel was not attended.
- Interrogated person cannot understand the language or is unable to communicate properly due to disability.
- Body harm and excessive psychological coercion was used.
A police interrogation may be fear-inducing to many people, especially for the innocent ones who are accused of a crime. To help you survive a tricky police interrogation, contact Atty. Ross Goodman, a defense lawyer from Las Vegas!