Importance of Contacting a Lawyer
If someone speaks with an officer and asks for a lawyer, that does not imply guilt. Police officers must absolutely honor that request. A lot of people, when put in that scenario, they think that there will be some kind of negative implication to the fact that they asked for a lawyer, and that is not true.
People have unqualified rights and should exercise those rights. That is part of being an American citizen, part of living in a free country is that we do have the right to exercise what is been given in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Experienced lawyers at Polson and Polson are available to help someone assert their rights when they are faced with this situation.
Cooperating with the Police
Police officers, sometimes, are not always honest. There are some limitations when they have to give that warning of contacting an attorney. If a person is not in custody, they do not necessarily have to tell them that they have a right to an attorney.
People should educate themselves about what their rights are, but our advice to anyone is that when they come under a cloud of suspicion, that is the time that they should talk with a lawyer even if it is just picking up the phone and saying the police want them to come in.
We have just had so many times when we have had a client pick up a phone before they went in for a police interview. They would have made their case a lot easier by not speaking because, sometimes, people are nervous, they do not always understand the question, they may not have all the facts, or they may something that is misinterpreted or misconstrued.
Sometimes, we will go with the client to be interviewed by a police officer if I think it is beneficial, but I never would advise anyone to speak with someone that has said that they are investigating them without either consulting with an attorney or taking an attorney with them.
Contacting an Attorney Early
People do not understand the Miranda warning, it is a very limited thing, and it only applies in certain scenarios. Most people, people that do not have any reason to fear, should at least initially consult with an attorney and let that attorney find out.
They should be able to make that phone call and discover why police want to talk to their client, whether they are a target or a witness, and what their interest in this person is. From there, an attorney can advise their client.