You’ve Been Accused of a Crime, Should You Cooperate with the Investigation?
With all due respect to my friends, and colleagues, and adversaries in law enforcement, you have to be careful with this idea of cooperation when you are the target of an investigation. I emphasize that when you are the target, or potentially the target of an investigation.
In the South, especially in rural communities, we are taught early on to cooperate with the police and good things happen.
Generally, that is a good rule to abide by to be a responsible citizen.
However, if you are the subject or focus of a criminal inquiry, then you need to take caution in dealing with the police.
As wonderful and nice as they may be in other situations, ultimately their motive is to pursue an investigation that will lead to an arrest. Potentially, that maybe you.
You should be as respectful, cooperative and polite when you are talking to a police officer. However, you need to tell them that you want to have a lawyer with you when you’re answering questions.
You should demand to have a lawyer with you when answering any questions or considering cooperating in their investigation.
Now, the police may give you some fuss on that. They might try to psychologically use this stand against you. They may say, “Well then you must have something to hide, because only guilty people ask for lawyers. Only people that have something to hide want to shield themselves from having a conversation with a law enforcement officer.”
It is important to know that is not the case.
In the United States, we have our fifth amendment right. If we’re being questioned by officers about any type of criminal inquiry, it’s a good policy to have a lawyer present. I tell this religiously to my clients. Even clients that tell me that they have nothing to hide and that they’re completely innocent of various accusations.
I’m glad that the person is forthright and wants to be cooperative. However, it is always good to have someone in your corner advising you about what may happen in an investigation. Even in a case where you’re completely innocent.
In my experience, people in hindsight say, “Gosh I wish I’d realized or known that” in hindsight. Usually, the uniform officer on the street is just trying to get basic information. But when an investigator comes to talk to you about an investigation, by that point they have already done their homework. They most likely developed some sort of suspicion or potentially even probable cause to arrest you.
You never know what type of questions may be asked. Again, it’s always a good policy to have a lawyer with you when you are being questioned about any type of potential criminal allegation.
Contact a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are under some type of a criminal investigation call an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact Steve Keathley at the Keathley and Keathley Law Firm in Corsicana, Texas at (903) 417-0889.