Police Questioning

WHAT I SHOULD DO IF THE POLICE WANT TO QUESTION ME?

You have a Fifth Amendment right to keep silent.  You should always exercise that right.  If the police want to question you, you MUST say, “I choose to remain silent, and I want a lawyer.”  If you are being questioned at the police station and are NOT arrested, you have the right to get up and leave.  The police rarely tell you this.  Most likely, the police will not let you leave, but will continue to question you.  You should always repeat “I chose to remain silent, and I want a lawyer” despite how much they threaten you, how long they keep you, or what they promise you, never give a statement or confession.  Do not allow yourself to give a false confession.  This phenomenon has gained more and more attention.  Unfortunately, once you give a statement, or a confession to the police, you cannot take it back.  Juries rarely believe that the police coerced, or forced a confession.  Police will always claim that you “willingly” confessed.  They will not disclose the coercive methods they used in order to obtain a confession.

DO THE POLICE ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LAW ON QUESTIONING SUSPECTS?

The law says that if you state you want to keep silent and want a lawyer, the police must stop further questioning.  They will NOT stop.  They will question, threaten, befriend, harass, and sometimes assault you until you give a statement or confession.  Do not let this happen.  If you are not under arrest, the law says that you do not have to answer any questions and can simply stand up and leave the police department.  The police, however, will give you the impression that you cannot leave, or simply will not let you leave.  If this happens you must say nothing and just sit there.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT POLICE DEPARTMENTS DO IN ORDER TO FORCE SOMEONE TO GIVE A CONFESSION?

A. “We know you did it, if you give a statement we will go easy on you.  We will call the prosecutor and tell them how cooperative you were.”  They will not make the call, nor will it matter. Despite what the police say to you, never ever, under any circumstances should you speak to them without first contacting a lawyer.  Once you have given a statement or confession you are stuck with that statement even if it is false.

B. “We have (witnesses, fingerprint, DNA, etc.) that says you did it.  So you may as well just confess to it.”  If the police had this sort of evidence of a crime, there is no need to speak to the suspect.  Chances are if they are trying to question you, the case is weak.  Your confession or statement provides the single strongest piece of evidence against you. Despite what the police say to you, never, under any circumstances, should you speak to them without first contacting a lawyer.

C.  “We have your (friend, mother, sister, cousin, etc.) in the other room, and they just told us you did it, you should help yourself by giving a statement or confession.”  Many people may confess simply because they want to spare a family member or close friend from being arrested.  Do not succumb to this sort of pressure. Despite what the police say to you, never, under any circumstances, should you speak to them without first contacting a lawyer.

D. “We will call the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) and make sure you never see your kids again.”  This is unlikely to happen, but it is a very effective technique the police use to get people to waive their right to remain silent, and get an attorney.  Despite what the police say to you, never ever, under any circumstances, should you speak to them without first contacting a lawyer.

E.  They may also physically assault you in order to obtain a confession.  Unfortunately some rogue police officers do exist within police departments.  Even if they physically assault you, under no circumstances should you give a statement to the police.

F.  “If you do not confess, we will arrest your wife, mother, father, uncle, son, daughter etc.”   Always maintain your right to remain silent. Despite what the police say to you, never, under any circumstances should you speak to them without first contacting a lawyer.

G.  “You aren’t going anywhere until you sign this statement, or tell us what we want to hear.” If you are not under arrest, you must stand up and leave the room in which you are questioned.  In reality, the police will try to prevent you from leaving, by physical force, or threats.  If this happens you must stop speaking, and assert your right to have a lawyer present.

WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND

Some police lie.  The law protects their lies.  They are not your friend, never trust them if you are being investigated.

The phenomenon of false confessions is finally coming to light.  The above techniques used by some police departments have led to many false confessions.  The best way to prevent this is to say nothing until you have spoken with an attorney.

Every day people are arrested for crimes.  Simply being arrested does not mean you have to be convicted of a crime.  Every person arrested in this country enjoys the right to be presumed innocent.  The Bojka Law Offices fight to make sure you carry that presumption when you go to court.

When you’ve been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor crime, you may be confused about the charges, how the arrest was made, and what the consequences will be for your future. At The Bojka Law Offices we aggressively represent clients who face all types of criminal misdemeanor and felony charges in Connecticut. We will take the time to explain in detail what will happen in court.

We know that most of our clients have never been in this situation before. But suddenly they, or their relative, needs the help of a reputable, competent, and experienced attorney to help them make sense of the situation, and represent their rights with aggressively.