Don't Talk to Cops
'GOOD MORNING! My name is investigator Holmes. Do you mind answering a few
simple questions?' If you open your door one day and are greeted with those
words, STOP AND THINK! Whether it is the local police or the FBI at your door,
you have certain legal rights of which you ought to be aware before you
proceed any further.
In the first place, when law enforcement authorities come to see you,
there are no 'simple questions'. Unless they are investigating a traffic
accident, you can be sure that they want information about somebody. And that
somebody may be you!
Rule number one to remember when confronted by the authorities is that
there is no law requiring you to talk with the police, the FBI, or the
representative of any other investigative agency. Even the simplest questions
may be loaded and the seemingly harmless bits of information which you
volunteer may later become vital links in a chain of circumstantial evidence
against you or a friend.
DO NOT INVITE THE INVESTIGATOR INTO YOUR HOME!
Such an invitation not only gives him the opportunity to look around
for clues to your lifestyle, friends, reading material, etc., but also tends
to prolong the conversation. The longer the conversation, the more chance
there is for a skill investigator to find out what he wants to know.
Many times a police officer will ask you to accompany him to the
police station to answer a few questions. In that case, simply thank him for
the invitation and indicate that you are not disposed to accept it at this
time. Often the authorities simply want to photograph a person for
identification purposes, a procedure which is easily accomplished by placing
him in a private room with a two-way mirror at...