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3 reasons you need a lawyer when speaking with police

Many people think you only need a lawyer if you are guilty. This myth is reinforced by countless TV procedural that depict asking for a lawyer during an interrogation as an act that confirms the heroes' worst suspicions about the individual in question.

This is a myth that can cause you a great deal of harm. Even if you think a matter is trivial, it can end up having serious consequences for you down the road. Having an experienced defense attorney at your side from the beginning can help you avoid unnecessary complications.

1. Police officers want to close the case, not clear your name

Law enforcement is not there to be on your side or to clear things up for you. Many people, especially those who have never been in trouble with the law before, think all they have to do is explain their point of view. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In fact, the more you talk, the more potential ammunition you provide against yourself.

2. No criminal matter is too minor to care about

Another trap people fall into is thinking because they were brought in about a relatively minor issue, it cannot matter much what they say. They do things like admitting to actions they did not necessarily take just to get all this to go away. The truth is that even if matters do really end there, avoiding jail time is not the only concern when facing criminal charges. Admitting to some types of actions can result in problems with your school or workplace. You may later face difficulties in obtaining or keeping a professional license. If you are not a citizen, your ability to remain in the U.S. may come into question.

3. Police officers do not have to tell you the truth

Finally, just because police officers say it is a minor issue or you are not a suspect, that does not mean that is true. The law allows law enforcement officers a great deal of latitude in lying to suspects. For example, they can tell you they have evidence when they do not. They can also promise incentives like reduced charges when, in reality, that is up to the prosecutor.

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Donatoni & Crichton Attorneys at Law
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West Chester, PA 19380

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