Should I agree to answer questions from the police without my attorney present?
The right to be represented by an attorney attaches at the time that you have become the focus of police investigation and does not require that you are in actual police custody. Even protestations of innocence may inadvertently incriminate you by confirming innocent details (such as your presence at a crime scene) already known by the police. No one suspected, accused or charged with a crime should ever make a confession or statement to the police without first contacting an attorney.
Should I consent to a police search of my home, office or automobile if I have nothing to hide?
Any and all evidence obtained following a voluntary search is admissible in court and can be used against you. Oftentimes, the police will explain that your cooperation may help prove your innocence. They may also reason with you that if you have nothing to hide, why not consent to a search? It is important to remember that at all stages of the criminal process the burden is upon the government to prove guilt. It is never your burden to prove your innocence. Because you may not at all times know the entire contents of your home, office, or automobile, you may unintentionally incriminate yourself in criminal behavior. Therefore, it is not in your best interest to consent to a search.
Should I agree to take a lie detector test or voice stress analysis test?
As with voluntary statements, the police may explain that your cooperation in taking one of these tests may eliminate you as a suspect and disprove the accusation against you. However, these tests can be administered by the authorities in an unfair or biased manner. The police are not required to take the results into account when deciding whether to charge you, and even favorable results are in most cases inadmissible in court to disprove your guilt. No one accused or suspected of a crime should ever agree to submit to a lie detector test or voice stress analysis test without first contacting an attorney
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