James Duane, a professor at Regent University School of Law, gave an excellent talk in May about why you should never, under any circumstances, talk to the police… even if you are innocent. It sounds counter-intuitive at first, but it really does make sense.
- Everything you tell the police can be used AGAINST you, but it can NEVER be used to help you (because it’s hear-say at that point).
- There is no way talking to the police can help you.
- You may admit guilt (even if innocent) with no benefit in return.
- Even if you are innocent, it is easy to get carried away and tell a small lie, which can destroy your credibility.
- Even if you are innocent, and only tell the truth, you will always give the police information that can help convict you.
- Even if you are innocent, only tell the truth, and say nothing incriminating, the police may not recall the conversation with 100% accuracy.
- Even if you are innocent, and only tell the truth, mistakes in your answers can incriminate you (either by misspeaking or drawing simple conclusions).
- Even truthful answers can be contradicted by mistaken or unreliable evidence, destroying you credibility.
I found the second part of the lecture especially interesting, where a veteran detective (George Bruch) backs up Duane’s arguments. Definitely recommend this one to friends.