What if Police…want to question you?
What if a police officer calls you and says they want you to come down to the station and talk to them? What about if they just want to ask you some questions over the phone, that seems harmless, right? Do you have to talk to them? Do you have to call them back if they left you a message? Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, SC. Today we’re talking about what you should do if police call you in for questioning.
Never Talk to Police Without a Lawyer
The number one rule in this situation is Never go talk to police voluntarily without having your lawyer present. You’re not going to help yourself. If you have information that you think is important, give it to your lawyer and let them advise you.
I Have Nothing to Hide
Even if you think you have nothing to hide, don’t do it. Why? Because you may make a mistake or misstate a fact when talking to police and if police think this is intentional you could face an obstruction of justice charge which is a felony in SC. I’ve seen this tactic used a number of times by police. Anything you say to police is being recorded, documented, or interpreted by police. You may deny that you were with a certain person, you may omit that you were at a certain location at a certain time, now you’re looking at an obstruction charge. You may have simply forgotten some of the details about who you were with or where you were, it doesn’t matter, once you’ve communicated that information to police voluntarily, they can use it against you.
Do you have to talk to police?
Which leads me to the first question you should be asking yourself if police want you to come in for questioning, do you legally have to speak to police if they ask you to come in for questioning or even answer some questions over the phone, that seems less harmful right. Wrong. You are still talking to law enforcement and they are still documenting what you tell them. There is no legal requirement that you have to go to the police station to voluntarily talk to police. So, the answer to that question is NO you do not have to voluntarily talk to police, and you should not without first talking to your lawyer. Even if police make it sound like you have to talk to them, you do not.
So, if police contact you and want to talk to you, never do this without your lawyer, I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.