Silence Is Golden
Video Transcript: What should you do if you think you’re being investigated by law enforcement? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I’m a Tulsa attorney with Wirth Law Office and I want to talk to you guys about a pretty uncomfortable topic if you ever find yourself in this situation, which is what should you do if you think you’re being investigated by the police. And again, we’re going to kind of focus this in on more serious stuff, like felonies.
A couple of things to be aware of. Police are not there to be your friends and they’re not there to be your father’s confessor. So understand that their job is to investigate crime and build a case for the prosecution, not to be there to look out for you. Now, I’m not saying this to be in any way derogatory about cops. I’m saying this is a practical matter, that’s what you’re dealing with.
So if you are approached by the police and they want to “Talk to you” about something and you were not the one that initiated that contact, keep this thought in mind right out of the shoot.
So the first thing you should definitely do if anything comes about is, and most likely you’re going to find out you’re under investigation because you get a phone call or a message from a cop who wants to talk to you. So the first thing I’m going to tell you is don’t talk to that cop. Shut your mouth and you want to not talk to any third parties about it, whatever it is that’s going on.
If you’re being investigated and you have reason to believe you’re in possession of anything that resembles potential evidence, I’m just going to tell you right now you are legally prohibited from destroying evidence or making it more difficult to recover. So for example, if you have a whole computer full of contraband and you start shredding files because you think you’re being investigated, understand that could still come back and bite you later if they can prove that’s what you did. It’s the destruction of evidence. Could be obstruction of justice, could be evidence spoliation.
There are a whole bunch of potential negative consequences that come from that potentially. You definitely want to get good counsel, you want to talk to them, and if you have some idea of why you might be getting investigated, you probably want to be pretty candid with them about what’s going on so they can help you develop a strategy to hopefully avoid criminal charges being filed. That would be the goal.
If you were in possession of anything illegal, they can advise you on what to do about that. If you are the subject of a false allegation, you’re going to be tempted to want to “Try to clear your name.” Talking to the police to try to clear your name is a mistake, even if you really think you didn’t do anything wrong. It is easy to make a misstatement or to admit to something that seems inconsequential that could set you up to do some real hard time.
I’m aware of a case, and this is not one I worked on, but I’m aware of a case involving a young man in Pennsylvania who was accused of, he was accused of rape based on incapacity because the girl had allegedly been drinking. And he admitted to having sex with her thinking that that was inconsequential. And that ended up with him getting convicted because he admitted the sex. And the lesson to take from that is you really don’t want to talk to the police. And another thing too, along the same lines, if they ask for a search, you never, ever, ever, ever want to consent to that because as a general rule, even if you think you have nothing to hide unless you know with a hundred percent certainty that you don’t have anything illegal in your possession, in your home, in your car, you’re gambling with your freedom.
And the most important thing, if you think you’re being investigated or if you know you’re being investigated, then you need to get a good lawyer on board immediately. And one place you can find a good Oklahoma criminal defense attorney is at makelaweasy.com and we’ll help you out.