If the police have contacted you or someone you know, it is a natural reaction to be afraid and want to seek legal counsel. Often times, police officers may contact a suspect or a witness in a criminal case and ask that they come down to the police station for questioning. It is normal for this to raise red flags, however, you should not speak with a police officer until you have spoken to a criminal defense attorney. This is especially if you may have committed a criminal offense that would warrant a call from law enforcement. In the event that you do speak with them, inform them (regardless of if this is valid or not) that you have an attorney and your attorney will speak on your behalf. This will buy you time to actually speak with a criminal defense attorney to see what legal options you have, if any. Usually, criminal defense attorneys do not charge for consultations so it is perfectly fine to speak with an attorney before contacting or meeting up with the police after this initial encounter.
If law enforcement contacts you, they may already have evidence against you in some regard. It is very easy to incriminate yourself when you have little to no legal background. Understand that you do have rights under the sixth amendment and although you have no legal background, someone does and they can speak on your behalf. It is perfectly fine to leave these conversations to someone who has experience speaking with law enforcement. Once you retain a criminal defense attorney, it is okay to speak with them in detail about your case. This way, they are able to help you entirely in building your defense. Your criminal defense attorney will advise you of when you should speak and what you should say, as to ensure you are not incriminating yourself or making your situation worse than it has to be.
Regardless of if you have a criminal history or not, encounters with law enforcement can be nerve wracking every time, and you may not know what may be on the other end of that conversation. Should you or someone you know have a situation where the police have reached out, speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney to see what may be best for you. Remember to speak with Decatur attorneys that may help your case before speaking with law enforcement that only seeks to charge a suspect for a crime.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and speaking with police.