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Criminal law : Rule 1. Talk to your Lawyer before you talk to the Police.

Why you should never talk or give a statement to the police before talking to a lawyer first.

You have just been arrested by the police and have been asked to participate in a police interview. You have done nothing wrong and feel you have nothing to hide. Alternatively, you have done something wrong, and do have something to hide, but you feel you can talk your way out of the situation. What is the worst that could happen?

The answer is your decision to talk to the police could be the difference between no charges being laid and spending the next 10 years of your life behind bars.

A vast amount of our criminal clients most incriminating (and in a lot of cases only) evidence against themselves are the words that have come from their own mouths.

Time and time again we see a 30 page transcript of a police interview with one of our clients, and only one sentence spoken by them has resulted in them facing serious criminal charges.

A little known fact about criminal law is that only the detrimental things you say to police about yourself are admissible as evidence in court. Anything you say that is favourable to your case is classified as “self-serving” and is inadmissible as evidence in court.

But what if you say favourable and detrimental things when giving your statement to police?

In that case, your whole statement can be provided to a jury, however in such cases, the judge is entitled to tell the jury that the incriminating part is more likely to be true because of the inherent unlikelihood that an accused person would make incriminating untrue statements.

An analogy for this would be a one-sided, bad form of gambling, where if you win, you get no money, and if you lose, you lose everything you own. The risks far outweigh any benefits.

But what if you are completely innocent and there is a logical explanation for everything that has happened, or you have an alibi?

Simply put, see a criminal lawyer. Explain your story to your lawyer as anything you say to your lawyer is privileged and confidential, meaning it will stay between you and your lawyer unless you instruct otherwise.

Your lawyer can then advise you if there are any advantages of corresponding with police and if correspondence is required, then providing any relevant correspondence to police in a controlled and safe way.

We offer a 24 hour a day Crime line service. If you find yourself in need of a criminal lawyer, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – Call us on 1800 Crime Law (1800 274 635)