Although whatever people say to the police could implicate them in criminal matters, people often feel confident about talking to officers. Many people want to cooperate with the police during an investigation, especially if they have no concerns about their innocence.
Others may believe that they can talk themselves out of trouble by providing information when the police question them. What many people fail to understand is that police officers don’t necessarily want to get “the right answer.” They simply need to gather enough documentation to pursue charges against someone. They will often do whatever they deem necessary to reach that point, including misleading someone. Officers are often eager to get a confession about criminal activity and they may lie or manipulate someone to obtain that confession.
How people confess without realizing it
Oftentimes, police officers ask people leading questions that can implicate them in some way. For example, they might ask questions about someone’s relationship with the other party involved in an incident as a way to establish that they had a motive to commit a crime. Other times, they may ask seemingly uninvolved questions that can demonstrate a person has an awareness of what occurred during a criminal incident or the location where it took place. Seemingly innocent details can implicate someone and make it look like they played a role in a criminal incident.
Alternatively, officers will try to undermine someone’s assertions that they did not break the law. They might do this by asking questions about minor infractions or repeatedly asking the same question. People might become frustrated answering the same questions over and over might become emotional and make exaggerated statements that make them look volatile or guilty. They could also end up contradicting themselves if they continue to calmly answer the same questions, a mistake that might make them look like a criminal to the court.
It is very easy for people to fall victim to the manipulative tactics police officers use when questioning a suspect. As a result, it is critically important to make use of one’s right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. This can help people avoid a scenario in which police make them look like a criminal when they have not actually broken the law.