If you get arrested or fall under investigation for murder or another violent crime, your first instinct is to defend yourself. If you are frightened about your future, you might find it difficult to resist your self-preservation instincts. Many feel compelled to explain their situation to officers or agents who question them.
While understandable, it is unwise to speak with interrogators, especially when arrested for engaging in violent crimes. Police officers, detectives and other law enforcement personnel want to secure a confession or find evidence to resolve the case. In other words, the stakes are very high in these cases.
Wait for a legal representative before speaking
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) knows a thing or two about interrogations. The ACLU commits many of its resources toward protecting defendants from dubious or illegal interrogation techniques. They know what investigators can and cannot do (legally) when questioning suspects or persons of interest.
Below are three dos and three don’t’s for handling an interrogation scenario, based in part on information provided by the ACLU.
- Do request a phone call immediately and contact an advocate
- Do not answer any questions without legal representation
- Do provide your name when requested
- Do not explain yourself or make excuses (interrogators may take it as a confession)
- Do remain respectful and attentive to those questioning you
- Do not behave in a rude or antagonistic manner
Under the Constitution, you do not have to answer the questions law enforcement officers ask you. You also have the Constitutional right not to incriminate yourself during an investigation.
Following the tips above can do much to protect your freedom and rights when under investigation for violent crimes in Memphis. Learning about laws that govern violent crimes, murder and manslaughter can also increase your protection.