The General Rule
You absolutely must learn that “You have the right to remain silent” REALLY means SHUT UP!!!! It means “YOUR LAWYER WILL TELL YOU NOT TO TALK TO US BUT WE THINK YOU ARE SO STUPID YOU WILL TALK TO US ANYWAY.” We have an ADVERSARY system. What’s that mean? It means it’s *everyone* against the defense!
If you doubt me go to YouTube and search for “Don’t talk to the police.” Or you can just click on the video below:
If you still talk to the police after seeing this, you deserve your fate.
Don’t Talk To The Police–The Exception
There may (just possibly) be an exception to the general rule. That’s if you may be charged as part of the War On Terror. This exception is because what can be done under those laws (even just on a charge, let’s not get anywhere near a conviction) is so draconian, so harsh that many very competent lawyers will have their clients do most anything that breaks normal rules to avoid a terrorism charge. Even if you are later charged with lying to federal investigators, if convicted, the penalty is harsh; but orders of magnitude less than what could happen if you are charged under one or more of the terrorism laws. In that case, you might not even get to trial for, well, forever. And forget about bail in the interim.
Typical police response – get the guy for *something* and get some leverage on the family, too.
Don’t Talk To The Police: (For The Lawyers And Their Clients)
When you are charged with complex white collar or conspiracy-type crimes, get a lawyer. Once you have one, consider the following and make appropriate decisions after considering all the facts: a) the early cooperators always get the best deals; b) the first people to gain credibility with the investigators are the ones who frame the investigators’ view of the evidence they find; c) if you don’t cooperate, you can find yourself pulled into the indictment along with everyone else.
But, as a general comment, I don’t think it’s a good idea for the federales to prosecute so many people for lying to investigators. It engenders exactly the response that most of you have expressed.
Standard behavior for the police is to find something to charge you with–material witness, lying to investigators, obstructing justice, littering, something. Even better, they will find something to charge your wife, child, girlfriend with. That will increase the pressure on you to testify as they want. Now they won’t tell you how to testify, they’ll just tell you that you are lying and threaten you with perjury etc. etc. unless you tell the story their way–even if their way is wrong.