I Didn't Do Anything Wrong...Do I Still Need a Lawyer?
We frequently help people in what we call “pre-arrest” situations—that is, the person has not yet gone to jail, and may never go to jail or be charged, but they have been contacted by a detective who wants to speak with them regarding a situation that the detective is investigating. A common mistake that people make is thinking this: “I didn’t do anything wrong, so I will just go and explain everything to the detective and everything will be okay.” There are a few things to remember before you do this. First, if you are getting called in by a detective to “give your side of the story” you must remember that the detective has likely already labeled you as a suspect. This means he is going to view everything you say with great skepticism, and likely not believe you, which could mean you are giving a statement in vain. Second, don’t forget that detectives go to extensive training in interrogation and interview tactics, so you are rarely actually going in for a “conversation” with them—you are going in for an interrogation, and you need to be prepared for what that means.
Does this mean that we never take people to speak with the police? Absolutely not! We frequently take clients to give statements to the police. When you hire us, we make a plan with you, the client, to determine whether or not it is in your best interested to give a statement. We have taken many clients in to give statements who were never arrested. Taking an attorney with them provided those clients with an advocate and someone who was comfortable in the interrogation room, calling out unfair statements or tactics that the police use, when they may not have been able to accomplish that themselves, without an attorney.
Why should you hire an attorney prior to giving a statement? Aside from the fact that it is much less expensive to hire us for a pre-arrest matter than it is to litigate your case, you also may end up avoiding an arrest altogether. If you are wondering whether you should hire an attorney for your pre-arrest matter give us a call at (318) 459-9111 to discuss your case.