Updated: Apr 18
Do not go to the detectives office to just meet with him. Why did I say meet?
I've had a law practice for over 20 years here in Nashville. Before practicing law I was in law enforcement as a probation officer. Hundreds of times I have tried to help people who found something like this; You get a phone call from Detective Bob. Ring, ring, this is Detective Bob of the Nashville, Gallatin, Springfield, Dickson Police Department. We just want to talk to you about something. We have talked to someone about someone selling drugs. We have heard that someone stole items from XYZ street. Now we know that you did not have anything to do with it. We just want to talk to you and hear your side of the story. Come on down to our office and lets talk. It will all be OK.
Jef, if I get a call like this what should I do. Lets have a role play. Role playing is good so you can think, “what will I say when.”
Ring ring. This is Detective Bob, please come down and talk with us. You choose:
a. No thank you, bye
b. Sounds good. I will have my lawyer call you.
c. OK. Call my lawyer to set up a meeting at his office.
d. What is your number? My lawyer will want to talk to you.
e. Ok, I will head down to your office now.
After 20+ years of criminal law experience I can tell you what will happen after you say response a, b, c, or d. You will not have an interview with a detective. For the most part the detectives do NOT want to talk to you AND your lawyer. Your lawyer will probably say, Johnny, be quiet. Do not answer questions. The detectives want you to be nervous, chat, talk a lot and give them information that they WILL use against you.
Jef, if I do not meet with them they will think I am guilty. A detective’s job is to find out who committed a crime. They want to interview people who they think are guilty. If they want to talk to you they probably think you are guilty of something. If you meet with them they think you are guilty. If you do not meet with them they think you are guilty. See a pattern?
But Jef, they have to read my rights, correct? Yes, if you are in custody. In this role play you were not in custody. A detective asked you to come down to his / her office. You said, sure. You were not under arrest. You can leave anytime. Anything you say is voluntary. Anything you say that can possibly be twisted against you WILL be twisted against you. Do NOT give any ammunition to the people who are out to get you. Do NOT meet with the detective.
So the lesson is: DON’T GO TALK TO A DETECTIVE! CLEAR?
I am Jef Goldtrap. I hope I have helped. If you need my help reach out and give me a ring 615-254-1471, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. For more information check out my Facebook group Tennessee Legal Questions.
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