In Georgia, almost every single investigation into an alleged sex crime will include law enforcement reaching out to the suspect. At this time, the suspect is probably not even aware that he or she is under investigation. If the suspect has no idea they are under investigation then this request will come as a complete shock.
Law enforcement’s request for an interview is rarely the beginning of the process. Typically there is an “outcry” or a report that starts the process. These are oftentimes unfounded, but they will spark an investigation. It could begin with a child making a poorly timed joke at school, a step-child lashing out without realizing the consequences, a troubled family member, a teacher misinterpreting something, or an angry family member.
We use Coweta County as an example, but this request could come from officers in Newnan, Macon, or anywhere else in the state. When this happens the natural reaction is going to be to comply with the officers’ requests. There are many reasons for this immediate reaction, and for the most part, they are logical concerns. There are several reasons that you may be tempted to speak with law enforcement.
These are logical reasons to go meet with the officers, but they are not good reasons. Let’s talk about why you should never go to the station to meet with officers, why you should never agree to a phone interview, or agree to an interview in your home (or anywhere else for that matter).
First and foremost, under no circumstances should anyone do an interview with law enforcement without their lawyer present. Almost everyone believes that if they just have the opportunity to present their side of the story or explain their complete innocence, then the situation will resolve itself as quickly as possible.
You must know, however, that law enforcement is trained in questioning suspects, law enforcement will lie to you during their questioning, and law enforcement is not on your team when you are the suspect in a sex case. It is imperative that you are assisted by someone who is familiar with their questioning tactics so that you do not accidentally say something that may be used against you (and trust me they will use it against you).
Second, officers typically only ask you to come to talk to them when their investigation is nearing its end. That can mean one of two things. Either law enforcement has conducted an investigation and decided there is probable cause to arrest you, or they have conducted an investigation and decided there is not probable cause to arrest you.
If the cops have decided there is probable cause to arrest, then they want you to come to in and do an interview. They hope that you will incriminate yourself in this interview (their questions can and will make even an innocent person incriminate themselves) and provide the prosecutors with an even stronger case. Remember, you have a constitutional right not to incriminate yourself!
If they have decided that there is not probable cause to arrest you, then they are going to try and get probable cause. There next best attempt is to have you come down to meet them and do an interview. They hope that you will come to the station, fall into one of their traps and say something that should be used against you at which point will they may determine there is probable cause and arrest you.
Rarely does a suspect go down to the police station or sheriff’s office and leave without being booked. Don’t think that you can be a rare exception. Know your rights. Know that you have the right to remain to silent and that you can utilize that right. The fact that you remained silent cannot be used against you in court (so who cares if the cop thinks it suspicious).
As you can see, there is no benefit to speaking with law enforcement by yourself in this situation. They are either going to arrest or they aren’t, their mind is made up. Under no circumstances are you going to change the cops mind or talk your way out of an arrest by going to participate in a “talk” with the cops. Best case scenario they proceed as they would anyway, worst case scenario is that you make the government’s case against you stronger.
If you believe that you are under investigation, or if you or a loved one have been arrested for a sex crime, then call J. Ryan Brown Law and set up a consultation with Ryan Brown today. Don’t talk to the cops alone. Don’t fight your charges alone.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC