If you get arrested, the officers may try to act like they’re on your side, like you’re all in this together and that they want to help you find a solution. They’ll ask you questions, start conversations and try to get you to talk on your own. They’ll frame it as if it’s in your best interests to cooperate with them.
But is it? Their job isn’t to help you. Their job is to arrest you. When they’re trying to get you to talk, they may just be trying to get you to incriminate yourself. Here are two key points to consider.
They don’t have to be honest
First off, the police can and do lie. They can say that they have video footage of you at the scene of the crime, for instance, or that they already have a witness who testified against you. They’ll do this to get you to cooperate. They’re trying to convince you that this is already over and they can convict you if they want, so you hope that cooperating and saying what they want will get you out of it. Not only will going along with them not get you out of it, but they may have none of the evidence they claim to have. You’re being tricked.
False confessions happen
Secondly, we know that the police often coerce people into false confessions. Sometimes, this happens directly because of a lie. Say the police tell you that your significant other is going to jail unless you confess to something you didn’t do. You want to protect the person that you care about, so you take the fall for them. Afterward, you find out that the police had no evidence tied to you or your significant other, and neither of you would have gone to jail if you would have just stayed silent, but now they have a confession from you.
Meeting with your lawyer
Issues like this are why you have a right to a lawyer in the United States. If you are facing charges, be sure you know exactly what you can do, when to talk and what not to say.