For all queries, please enter "NO COMMENT." A "pleasant discussion" with a police officer does not exist. Everything you say can and almost certainly will be used as evidence. If they interview you, say "No Comment," unless you have precise guidance from a skilled lawyer to produce a written statement. Anything you do or don't say can be used against you in court.
Some people try to explain their actions to police officers by saying something like, "I just wanted to go home." Or "The dog was barking; I just wanted to see what it was about." Whatever you do, don't say anything of significance without consulting a criminal defense attorney first. Even simple things such as moving your body or making noise can be interpreted as evidence of guilt or innocence. It's best to stay silent and let your attorney deal with police questions on your behalf.
If you are arrested, it is your responsibility to notify your employer/client that you have been taken into custody. Failure to do so may result in your being terminated from your job. Also, any money paid to you by employers during this time should be kept separate from other funds until your case has been resolved.
In conclusion, remember that you cannot predict how a question will be answered, nor can you guess at the direction or line of questioning that the police officer will take. Therefore, remain calm and polite but avoid giving any answers or comments.
Don't Answer Any Questions: Other than answering "yes sir" or "no ma'am" to the officer, don't say anything else. The cops are not on your side. According to the Supreme Court, you should never talk to the police whether being questioned on the street or at the police station. Never, ever speak to the cops, but there's a catch. If the officer asks for your name and address before making an arrest, then you can answer his questions.
My name is [your name]. I do not have to answer any questions. You cannot force me to answer your questions. I have the right to remain silent. You cannot hold me here without charging me with a crime. I want a lawyer.
These words will help you get out of jail fast. However, if you say them too soon, or if the officer does not believe you when you say you want a lawyer, it may not be enough to get you out of jail. In that case, you will have to wait for your court date to get released.
Your police station agent will always take note of the instructions you provide, so even if you respond with 'no comment,' they may submit evidence to the court if necessary to establish that you haven't drawn up a defense until you've been charged and the papers have been served. The police are required by law to notify defendants of their right to counsel before questioning them.
In most cases, saying only "no comment" will not be sufficient to stop the police from interviewing you. They may ask you more questions about the incident for which you're being interviewed. Even if you do not want to talk about the case, your police station agent should advise you to answer questions truthfully to avoid making things worse for yourself.
It is best to be as detailed as possible in describing what happened during an interview. The more information you give the police, the easier it will be for them to find witnesses who can corroborate or contradict certain aspects of your story.
For example, if you describe seeing someone else at the scene of the crime, this could help identify a witness who can confirm or deny your story. Or, if you mention something stolen from you or your home, this could lead officers to relevant evidence such as fingerprints or DNA samples taken at the scene.
Be careful not to mention anything that might jeopardize your case against future charges.
Tell the cops what you recall about what occurred in your own words. Sometimes the police must ask questions that are difficult or uncomfortable to answer. Even if you don't believe it's necessary, try not to leave anything out. In rare situations, police may film you providing your testimony. You have the right to refuse this request but doing so could affect your ability to get a protective order.
The best way to deal with an overzealous cop is to be honest and straightforward with them. If they start getting too pushy or accusatory, tell them you would like a lawyer present before you discuss what happened. They cannot question you without a lawyer present. If they still want to talk to you, have your attorney call them first thing in the morning to set up a time for your conversation.
Cops will often try to wear down their suspects by going over and over the same information with them until they find something that will stick. This is called "leading" the witness. Don't fall for this trick! Only say what you remember seeing and hearing directly from the defendant. Questions designed to lead the witness down a path of speculation or memory loss should be avoided. For example, asking whether you think someone might have done it because they had a reason to hate the victim will likely get you nowhere.
If you are unable to afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one to represent you.