If you are charged with a crime, the police need more information to build a strong case against you. Thus, they will conduct investigations, and one of the procedures is interrogating you — and they may use tactics to pressure you into giving them the information they need.
This guide discusses three common tactics the police may legally use:
The vast majority of people expect those in authority to be truthful with them, and police officers usually benefit from that assumption. However, the police may lie during an interrogation. They may tell you that if you fail to cooperate, you will face severe penalties, but if you do, they will reduce or eliminate them. They may also tell you that they have evidence that they don’t actually have. While their lies can be devastating, you should insist on not talking without your lawyer present.
Verbal and emotional intimidation can happen in interrogation rooms. A police officer can yell at you or make significant moves like throwing papers or hitting the table to leave you unsettled. They may also keep you in the room for hours or even overnight. They do this hoping the intimidation will make you confess. Always remember: You can ask to leave if you’re not in custody. If they refuse to allow you to leave and you’re placed into custody, you have the right to ask for an attorney.
3. Informal questioning
Another tactic that the police use is questioning someone without arresting them. Therefore, they approach you “intending to obtain more information” about a case. You may not even realize you are a suspect and may speak with them without legal representation to protect your interests.
If you are accused of a crime, any conversation you have with the police can be used against you. If the police ever want to question you, the chances are they believe you are a suspect — and that should immediately make you cautious. Legal guidance can help.