Can I refuse to release a statement to police and hire a lawyer? 58 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I have been named in a police report involving a break in and the police came to my house and want me to come in to release a statement on tape. Should I have a lawyer?

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Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
Yes, it is advisable to have counsel present when making a statement to police in order to protect yourself. The other option is to not make a statement at all.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/13/2011
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
When the police approach you you do not have to provide a statement. Having an attorney is best because then the police can be on notice that you have an attorney and questioning cannot occur unless that attorney is present.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 7/5/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Yes you can refuse to give a stastement to the police, and if you would like to give a statement you definetely should hire an attorney to be present when you do.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/5/2011
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
Yes you need a lawyer. You can assert your right to counsel and to remain silent in the face of police questioning. A lawyer can help you make that decision in an educated way.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/5/2011
Law Office of James A Schoenberger
Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
You have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney whenever you are questioned by law enforcement.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/5/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry. In short - yes, you should have an attorney. The basic right that you have which would perhaps stand in the way of releaseing the recording may be the 5th amendment. If any part of the tape could incriminate you in a criminal offense, make you an accessory, or make you a co-conspirator or otherwise, then, there may be grounds to keep from producing the recording. There are a host of other reasons why you may have to turn it over. Your best advice is to hire an attorney to represent you before it is too late, and they simply take it with a warrant. I hope that htis was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    Under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, when you are accused of a crime, you are not required to give a statement to law enforcement and doing is rarely a good idea. That is what the "right to remain silent" means. You should seek the advice of a good criminal defense attorney before making any statements or answering any questions.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You have the right to refuse to give a statement to police and to request an attorney before being questioned.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You should consult an attorney before speaking to police anytime you are being accused of a crime whether you are innocent or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes it is just as they say on TV, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to give a statement. You should get an attorney first. There are many people in prison because they gave statements. If they had remained silent (AS IS THEIR RIGHT) then they would be free now. The police often want a statement because they need it to charge you with a crime. the police often don't have enough evidence to charge you with out your statement. Why help them put you in prison? and if they say they have evidence they are sometimes lying hoping that you will confess. Get an attorney!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Yes, you can refuse to make a statement. Yes, you need to secure an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Absolutely remain silent. That's more than just a catchy phrase on cop shows. In the USA, you cannot be forced to testify against yourself. I've see a lot of people end up in prison only because they insisted on telling their story. You should always be polite and respectful to people in authority but being cooperative in this situation is a very bad idea. Seriously consider hiring an attorney too. We're adept at running interference with the cops while defending you. Plus the courts and some cops prefer to deal with attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    That's not a "release." They are asking you to make a statement, and you absolutely do NOT have to do that. Statements often hurt your case, and very rarely help your case. Even if you deny everything, sometimes the WAY you deny it can sound incriminating or can hurt your case. Police can often twist your words back on you in ways that look incriminating. You should consult with an attorney before speaking with any officer when you are a suspect.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    What can you do? The answer is: Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. It also includes any communication or dealings with the store agents. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    Yes, I would strongly recommend retaining a lawyer to assist you with this matter. What you say or do could be used against you in a subsequent criminal proceeding and a "break in" is usually charged as a serious felony. Even if you do not cooperate, there is still a good chance they may file charges anyway if they have enough other evidence against you. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. It is certainly worth a few phone calls.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Yes you should absolutely hire an attorney and under no circumstances should you speak to the police without first speaking with an attorney, and probably not even after speaking with the attorney. I can't think of any situations in which I have advised a client to speak to the police. Their job is to gather evidence to convict, not to assist you. There is no incentive for you to speak with them and what they tell you cannot be relied upon. Hire an attorney. Their only purpose is to protect your rights and protect your freedom. Directly opposite the goal of the police. You need someone who represents you, not the Commonwealth to advise you.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you are innocent you should retain an attorney and he will talk to the police to attempt to prove that. If you are guilty you should retain an attorney and he will contact the police, tell them not to interview you, and try to see what evidence they have. The police are hoping you will come down and confess and about half of the people they call do just that because the police lie and get them to confess or at least make statements that make them look guilty. Criminals are usually stupid and easy to manipulate. They believe the police when they say they will help them if they cooperate.If they have enough to get an arrest warrant the attorney can arrange your surrender. If they do not have enough evidence the judge will not sign the arrest warrant. Either way you will have a better chance of being released at arraignment or get a lower bail as you voluntarily surrendered and retained an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Singh Law Office
    Singh Law Office | Kulvinder Singh
    No comments, no answers, without counsel! They are looking for you to trip up and they will make a case against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    "Anything you can say can and will be used against you." you have an absolute right to remain silent do so. Bad lawyers allow their clients to talk to cops, don't listen to such advice! Call me for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    You should definitely contact a lawyer before giving a statement to the police in a case where you are a suspect. It is your constitutional right to not give a statement, and it is your constitutional right to have a lawyer present if you are being questioned if you request it. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney promptly.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Never give a statement to the police without counsel! You need to retain counsel ASAP, because it is likely that you are going to be arrested. Give us a call to discuss retention of our office.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You dont have to make a statement. If you may have done something illegal, you should talk to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    I highly recommend if you are being investigated for a crime, that you hire counsel to assist you. It is commonly call pre-charge or pre-indictment representation. Many lawyers will take a small retainer fee and notify law enforcement that you are represented by counsel. The attorney can then meet with you and determine whether you wish to meet with law enforcement and make a statement, and can actually be present when you make the statement. As attorneys, we know what methods law enforcement officials use to sometimes trick or twist a client into making a statement that does not accurately reflect what actually occurred. Protect yourself now, prior to any potential criminal charges.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    You should talk to a lawyer. It is rarely a good idea to make a statement to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Yes, you should contact an attorney. You have the right to have an attorney present when you are questioned or make a statement.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes you should hire an attorney. You should only talk to the police with your attorney with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Steven C. Bullock
    With reference to the statement....Don't do it. Don't do it. DON'T DO IT. Can I make myself clearer?.....No, do not make any statement and talk to an attorney immediately. These are serious charges and can effect your life forever. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You do not have to cooperate. You can hire a lawyer if you want.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Get a lawyer. remain silent.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You are not required, ever, to talk to police so don't do it. Hire a lawyer to contact police for you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, you have the right to a lawyer and you should retain a criminal lawyer ASAP! You should discuss with your lawyer all your constitutional rights and your options. Perhaps your attorney will elect, with your blessing, to look into the matter for you without you incriminating yourself, or you may choose some other option. But hire a lawyer now! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you, you have the right to attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Yes, hire an attorney. Don't talk to the police and they cannot force you to talk to them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    Under the Fifth Amendment you have an absolute right to refrain from making any statements that could be self incriminating. Yes, you have a right to refuse to make a statement. Yes, you should retain counsel immediately to discuss all of your questions and concerns beyond this 2-3 line posting.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Bruce H. Lehr, P.A.
    Bruce H. Lehr, P.A. | Bruce H. Lehr
    You have the absolute right to a lawyer and should not talk to the police without one.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Rogoway Green, LLP
    Rogoway Green, LLP | Douglas Green
    Without knowing the rest of the details, absolutely and without question - do NOT talk to the police without representation or, at the very least, consulting with an attorney first.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Probably. You don't have to, but you're in a difficult situation. You can refuse to talk to the police but it obviously looks better for you if you cooperate. Having an attorney with you will allow you to do that while still having someone look out for your best interests.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    It is always a good idea to speak to a lawyer before speaking with law enforcement.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You should absolutely "lawyer up." You should NOT go talk to the police without a lawyer, and probably not at all. You have the absolute right to refuse to talk to the police at all - whether by phone or in person. You have the right to refuse to go the police department unless they have a warrant for your arrest. You have the right to refuse any searches unless they have a search warrant. You say you have been named in a police report which makes me think that you are a target of the investigation. If so, the police are not looking to exonerate you but to trap you and use your words against you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    If you were involved in the break in or suspect that you might be charged, then I would say you definitely need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You absolutely need a lawyer. You should NEVER speak to the police with your attorney present. And you should never volunteer to give a statement, lawyer or not!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Based on what you said you are the victim. You can always hire a lawyer but, unless you are not telling me something important I'm not sure why you would need one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Yes, you should have a lawyer. Your lawyer will say that you don't want to talk to the police. Actually, you can say that to the police yourself, and you should. Say "I don't want to talk to you. I want a lawyer" until they leave you alone. You absolutely, positively, should not talk to the police without a lawyer helping you. You have the right to remain silent. Use it. It doesn't matter if the police snarl at you or mistrust you or cajole you. It doesn't even matter if they arrest you (because if they have enough to arrest you, they won't believe whatever you say if it helps you, and they'll arrest you anyway.) It doesn't matter what they promise, because you won't be able to prove it later. It matters if they can convict you. And they'll have an easier time if you talk to them. Don't.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You never have to talk to the police. You always have the right to remain silent. Just keep in mind it could have consequences. You don't have to have a lawyer, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to talk with one beforehand and go over the case in detail. He will be able to give you a more specific answer as to how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    Absolutely. Do not make a statement of any kind to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    The Purnell Law Firm
    The Purnell Law Firm | Simon Purnell
    Yes you can and should. If you are a suspect (and it sounds like you are) you are entitled to have a lawyer present and if you can't afford one, to have one appointed to you. Even if you are not a suspect, you never know what they are going to be asking about and it is always a good idea to have a lawyer present to discuss any questions that may come up during the interview.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You absolutely can refuse to speak with anyone, including the police. The exception is if driving you must produce license or registration upon demand. I frequently advise client's do not talk and you may walk.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You should politely decline to make any statement. It is your right to do so. You should also consult with legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    You should definitely seek advice of a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer before making ANY statements to law enforcement. Any statements you make can and will be used against you. A person's own statements are often the most damaging factor in any criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. You should hire a lawyer. You should not speak to the police. If you feel like you should really speak to the police, still, don't talk to the police. If your lawyer tells you its okay to talk to the police, don't. Unless you are a lost six year old, the police are not your friends. They are not trying to help you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Whenever you are the focus of an investigation you should always be represented by counsel, and never speak with law enforcement without your lawyer being present.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You don't have to give a statement. Yes, you should speak with a lawyer about your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    Yes. A lawyer is the most important thing. Sometimes, the Police Detectives won't ask any questions. You have a right to remain silent when the police are interrogating you. You have a right against self incrimination.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Absolutely yes! Say nothing and give no statements to the police without counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Christopher Lee
    That depends. If you're not the named suspect or not investigating you as a possible suspect, you may not need an attorney. However, you also have a right to not have to speak to police officers. If they show up at your door and ask to speak with you, just politely say "no, thanks." You are no way obligated or required to "have to" speak with police officers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
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