People who are dealing with police may need to be very careful about answering questions. The police are not defense attorneys, nor are they judges. Alabama police officers work to procure evidence that might help a prosecutor convict someone. Those not familiar with what police work entails could make drastic mistakes when interrogated by the police, leading to a potentially dire legal situation.
Concerns about police interrogations
Interrogations don’t typically involve attempts to rule a suspect out. Usually, the police assume the person they interrogate is guilty, and the questions work to make the individual incriminate themselves. Those who know they are innocent might feel there are no problems with answering police questions. The suspect may not realize that the police can lie to a suspect. A decades-old Supreme Court decision gave law enforcement permission to lie to suspects, further opening doors for them to incriminate themselves.
When a police officer makes false claims that a witness saw an innocent person commit a crime, the suspect may panic. Panic-driven decisions could lead to horrible outcomes, such as making false confessions.
Understanding one’s rights
Among the most important things to realize about police interrogations are suspects face no obligations to answer questions. Not speaking to the police could help a criminal defense strategy at a later date when the suspects don’t incriminate themselves.
Suspects have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Invoking this right may also prevent problems for an eventual defense. In some instances, remaining silent and having a lawyer present could make it impossible to charge someone.