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Posted by Ed McClees | Jan 29, 2018

This is an easy one to answer: no.  At least not without talking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer first.  One of the most common questions we get when people contact us after they have come to realize that they are being investigated by the police is "won't that make me look guilty if I ask for a lawyer?"  That is exactly what the police are preying upon - your insecurity.  The fact is that prosecutors cannot use the fact that you asked for a lawyer against you. 

 Most of the time, the police already know what they want to do with your case when they come talk to you, and they are simply wanting your statement to build a case against you, or to twist your words in the hopes of making you sound guilty.  Many police officers and federal agents are highly trained in using tactics, such as the Reid technique, to lead the person being interviewed into saying something that can be used against that person in court.  The problem is that these tactics sometimes involve twisting peoples' words and intentionally lying to them in an effort to get them to incriminate themselves.  Some officers attempt to imply that confusion on minute details is a lie.

 Police will often show up at a doorstep or workplace unannounced and will use a variety of tactics to coax people into giving statements.  Some common tactics used by law enforcement to get someone talking is to say "we are just trying to close our file and need a quick statement," "we talked to the other people involved and they are all blaming you," "this is your opportunity to tell the truth and we will tell the DA to go light on you," "you can talk to us or tell it to the grand jury," or "hiring a lawyer will make you look guilty."

 There are times when it makes sense to give a statement to law enforcement, but this should only be done after you have consulted with an experienced criminal lawyer who knows the pitfalls of making such statements, and who understands how police officers and federal agents use these statements in their investigations.

 When Ed McClees was a prosecutor, he was the Chief of the Organized Crime Section, where he routinely advised police on how to proceed in their investigations, and where he worked alongside local police and federal law enforcement officials in questioning witnesses and targets of investigations.  In the years since he left the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Mr. McClees has regularly been called upon to represent people who are being investigated by law enforcement. Sometimes after a thorough review of the available facts, Mr. McClees advises his clients to remain silent, and other times he advises his clients to give statements.  Each case rests on its own facts.  Some of our most notable victories have occurred when we have been able to silently bring an end to an investigation without any charges being filed. 

 If you believe that you are being investigated by law enforcement, call us so we can further discuss how we can help you.  

About the Author

Ed McClees

Ed is a criminal trial lawyer who is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He is a former Harris County District Attorney where he served as chief of the Organized Crime Section, prosecuting cases involving complex organized criminal activities, including Fr...

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