5 of my top 10 Reasons Why I Would Never Talk to the Police

June 15, 2021

By Ron Bamieh

I often speak to groups on the topics of our rights. Invariably I am asked about whether or not someone should to speak to the police if they are the subject of a criminal investigation. My simple answer to that question is NO, not any circumstances, not in any situation, not with green eggs and ham, do not speak to the police. Usually I get the follow up response, “Why Not? I want to show that I am truthful and I want them to hear my side of the story.” That sounds good, we all want to be honest and that being truthful will us with the police. Being truthful is much better than lying to the police, but what’s better than both is being silent. Here are my five of top ten reasons never to speak to the police if you are suspect in a criminal investigation.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

You are probably familiar with this line if you have watched any TV cop show or if you have been arrested. It’s the first Miranda warning. Notice how it says “will be used against you.” It does not say will be used to help you, will be used to assist you, or this can really help in a pinch. Even if you are not provided this warning you should exercise your right to remain silent. It is the first warning people hear when they are interrogated while in custody yet nobody seems to ask, “Officer what you mean against me.” What they mean is we not planning on using this statement to help you in any way – so your incentive to talk once again is what?

You do not know the facts of the investigation.

When the police believe you are suspect they have no obligation to tell you the facts or for that matter the truth about their investigation. The law allows a police officer or any law enforcement officer at the investigative stage to lie to you. How do you begin think you are on equal footing with your interrogator when they have all the facts and you have none and you have no idea if they tell you any facts if they are being truthful or not.

You do not know the law may apply to your case.

There are thousands if not millions of laws; lawyers do not know all of the laws, how could you. I frequently have to look up statutes to understand what exactly my client did that is violation of law. Do you know in some states it is a felony to transport fruit? I don’t either, but I know if an officer approached me and asked if I transported fruit across a state line, my answer would be I would rather not speak to you officer.

Prosecution Has the Burden of Proof don’t help them meet their burden.

The statements you make are evidence, why provide the prosecution with evidence to help them meet their burden of proof.

Because You Do Not Know How Your Statements Will Be Interpreted.

How do you know what the officer is going to remember or is going accurately write down what you say when you make your statement. I think a vast majority of officers are truthful and do the best they can to be accurate. I also know that they are human, and sometimes they miss a word or two or may confuse your inflection which changes the meaning of what you said. If you are asked “did you do it?” and responded “Yeah Right.” That could mean two different things depending on your inflection. There is the affirmative acknowledgment, or the incredulous inflection that means what are you an idiot of course I was not there. Do you really want the police officer making that determination for you?