I'm innocent. If I cooperate with the police won't they just clear me?
It's possible, but not something you should count on—especially not without an attorney present. In fact, if you are being investigated by the police, unless you have a lawyer by your side, answering police questions is more likely to end up with you being charged with a crime than clearing your name.
Police Automatically Suspect Someone Close to a Victim
In cases of murder, assault, sex crimes, and other violent crimes, most victims are attacked by someone they know. For this reason, police routinely look at those closest to the victim before considering the possibility of someone else having committed the crime.
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer while you are still under investigation is a smart, defensive move that can dramatically reduce the risk of you being charged with a crime.
Our Michigan criminal defense lawyers can help you answer questions (or advise you to not answer questions) in a way that is most advantageous to you. And, we can keep police from tricking you or bullying you into making a false confession or providing information that could hurt you.
You May Already be a Suspect
When police launch an investigation they either already have a suspect in mind, or will be looking for someone to blame a crime on. In the eyes of the police a suspect is likely to be presumed guilty and the evidence they look for is usually to prove their suspicions are right rather than to prove someone's innocence.
Police investigate crimes by interviewing friends, family, and neighbors of a suspect, as well as any witnesses in an attempt to support their suspicions. Police can also investigate a suspect without necessarily telling them they are about to be charged with a crime.
Routine Questions Are Not Always Routine
You may be told that questions are "routine" and you can clear your name by answering them. But, anytime you are questioned by the police—even before being charged or read your rights, your answers can be used against you later on.
The police are suspicious of you and you should be suspicious of any questions they ask you.
During the investigation, police will try to get you, someone you know, or a witness to offer information or evidence to support their belief that you have committed a crime—even if they have to distort facts.
It is not uncommon for police and prosecutors to build an entire case against someone who is innocent because they failed to consider all the evidence or failed to look deeply enough into a particular situation. Sometimes, police collect evidence illegally and even hide or suppress evidence.
Being innocent and cooperative is not enough to keep you from being charged with a crime.
More Than 20,000 Innocent People Are Serving Time in Prison
The American Civil Liberty Union's website is full of stories of innocent people who have been sent to jail and it is estimated that at least 1% of the prison population (20,000+ inmates) are innocent people currently serving time for crimes they did not commit.
If You Are Being Investigated by the Police, Call Our Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers Immediately
If you are being investigated by the police you have reason to be concerned. This is an absolutely good reason to call an experienced and aggressive defense attorney.
Don't be fooled—police investigators are trained professionals that know how to trick people into offering incriminating information by using a variety of tactics. They may play "good cop, bad cop” or tell you if you don't cooperate you will be arrested. A common tactic is to simply pretend to be concerned about you—winning your confidence and getting you to talk to them as if they were your friend.
The only person you should trust to guide you through a police investigation is your own criminal defense lawyer.
To learn more about how we can help you deal with a police investigation and avoid being charged with a crime, or being charged with a more serious crime, contact our criminal defense attorneys today.
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