When to talk, when to not

You are a law-abiding citizen and have never interacted with the police except on television with programs like Kojak, Hawaii Five-O and Miami Vice (or for you younger folks, all of the CSI locations, the new Hawaii Five-O and Mike and Molly.) The television show Live PD seems to be quite popular too as viewers watch to see if they know any of the unfortunate folks being stopped, searched and arrested. They all seem to talk to the police immediately, answering each and every question, unintentionally incriminating themselves in the process. They are read their rights and told they do not have to speak with the police, that they can have a lawyer present, etc., yet they still talk…and often regret it later.

However, this is reality, and while cop shows make for great entertainment, they are just that—entertainment. Be cautious about what you take from these programs. When the police want to talk to you about ANY criminal matter, call me, because I am a real lawyer living in the real world. I will not let you make the mistake of saying something that may tend to incriminate you, or let you mis-state a detail so the police can jump on it with harsh follow-up questions. You see, I used to be a cop. I know that most people talk because they want to impress the police and try to prove their innocence, or try at least to convince the police that they were not involved. But this is generally not a good idea.

While there may be opportunities when talking with the police about the weather or what sports teams they pull for may be a good idea, talking with the police about your participation in a crime will never turn out well without a lawyer like me. Even as a witness to crime, it is best to consult with a lawyer first.

Remember what Kojak always said when he caught the criminal and coaxed a detailed confession from them: “Who loves you baby?” I promise you it ain’t Kojak! Call me when the police come knocking and we will decide together when you talk and when you don’t.

Steve Denton, Partner
Click here to learn more about Steve. Call 864-585-5100 for an appointment.

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