Recently we had a client who was accused of inappropriate conduct with the underage daughter of an ex girlfriend. S/He learned of the accusation when the police called him and wanted him to come in. This IS a trap. I’ll explain below.
Luckily for the client S/He contacted our firm. We went with him to the police interview. The client brought cash so that he could bond himself out. After waiting in line to finally talk to the police, Tim was able to check in.
The conversation went like this:
- “My client is here to turn himself in, Detective X wanted him to come in.”
- “What is he charged with?”
- “He isn’t charged yet. “
- “What did he do?”
- “Nothing, that is why we don’t know why the Detective wants to talk to him.”
The officer calls back and two detectives come out. We go into a conference room. I introduce myself to the Detectives, get their names and badge numbers, and inform them that my client is asserting his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The Detectives acknowledged their understanding of this, took my client into custody, and began the booking process.
Eventually the client was released without charges being filed. He did not have to post any bond. This is because they cops were fishing for more information. When an Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) reviewed the case the cops were able to build, that ASA decided their case was not strong enough and declined to authorize the felony charges.
When you speak to the police you are committing yourself to a narrative. If you get pulled over and they say “Do you know why I pulled you over?” your answer can make it harder for you to fight the charges. If you say, “I was only glancing at my phone” then your speeding ticket will likely be accompanied by a using an electronic device ticket. Usually, the best advice is to say nothing.
Because our client called us, knew and asserted the right to remain silent, and therefore did not give the police any admissions to use against him/her, the nightmare of a charge of sexual abuse etc. was completely avoided.