This is a common question with a simple answer: you have to do nothing. You are under no obligation to answer an officer's questions. Frankly, officers want to hear what you have to say for one simple reason: to bolster their case. You have a right to remain silent whether you are in custody, or being approached for an interview as part of an investigation. So what do you do? The appropriate response is to politely tell the officer that you are not interested in answering any questions. Yes, this will likely make the officer unhappy. He or she may say something like "well, I am just trying to get your side of the story to figure out what happened," or "If you're unwilling to tell me what happened I will have to make my charging decision based on what I've learned so far." Don't fall for the trap. It is your right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right.
Like many rules, there are certain times when an exception applies. In some instances it may make sense to answer an officer's questions, but you should only do so after consulting with an experienced criminal trial lawyer. I have been a criminal trial for nearly three decades. Before I became a criminal defense attorney I worked as a prosecutor for a number of years. Your best choice is to speak with an attorney with years of actual experience. This is a complicated area of the law. If you make the wrong choice you may end up giving critical and admissible evidence to the police.
Contact Attorney Michael Turndorf at 207-729-4500 or at [email protected]
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