As discussed in the previous section of this article, people at the center of police investigations or detainment often fare best by opting not to submit to searches of their person or properties. In addition, people in such situations usually benefit from refraining from answering law enforcement questions. Whether a person is guilty or innocent of the crime being investigated, police officers want information that helps them attain resolution of a case; a misspoken phrase or inconsistency of facts may create legal difficulties, even for those who are completely innocent.
Police officers often utilize methods of interrogation that can be confusing for those not accustomed to dealing with them. Some officers, for instance, promise leniency in return for confession, when in fact they have no power to determine sentencing. Moreover, they remain vigilant about spotting lies that further erode the credibility of the person being questioned.
About the author: Thaddeus Furlong, a Partner in the Virginia law firm Furlong and Drewniak, PLLC, assists clients accused of crimes and those who are the subject of police investigations. In addition to representing clients throughout the trial process, the former police officer meets with clients and law enforcement officials to facilitate fair, accurate questioning. To learn more, call Thad Furlong at 703-988-1010.