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If the Police Call or Drop By and Say They’d Like to Speak With Your Son – or Daughter

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NH Criminal Defense – We all try to be good parents and to set a proper example for our kids. Most people have the instinct to do what they are asked to do by police officers. Our society places a high cultural value on being “a good, law-abiding citizen.” And you should be. But despite what you or they may think, police officers are not “the law.” They are enforcers of the law, and there’s a difference. Most police officers view their job, in addition to providing for public safety, as solving crimes and making arrests. If the police say they just want to talk to your 18-year-old son because they want to clear up a few things, your antenna should go up. The officer believes your son knows something about, or worse, committed, a crime. You know he didn’t commit a crime, because he has already told you that. Or he told you he did. As that good, law-abiding citizen, your instinct is to cooperate immediately and make your child available to be interviewed by the police. The police don’t want a criminal defense lawyer there getting in the way of them doing their job, so they’ll tell your son that he is not under arrest and is free to leave at any time. This way, they don’t have to read your child his or her Miranda rights – including the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. The entire point of interviewing – or interrogating – your kid is to make an arrest for a crime they think your kid was involved in. What you need at this point is a seasoned, experienced criminal defense lawyer. Tell the officer, politely, that you need to think about it or that you want to consult with your family lawyer – “just to understand what our rights are.” The police are under no obligation to be straight with you, and they may see your child as a suspect even if they say they don’t.

Some parents say “I want to just bring Junior in and have him say what he did and take full responsibility for it.” This is a bad idea. If your child did something wrong, its fine to want them to take responsibility for it. What you don’t want them to do is defenselessly expose themselves to the criminal justice system and risk the harshest possible penalties.

NH Criminal Defense Lawyer

In these situations, consult with a criminal defense lawyer before your child gets in deeper than you or they want them to be. Give me a call. We can talk about it, and I can speak with your son or daughter under the attorney-client privilege. You’ll get straightforward, understandable advice from someone whose job and profession it is to be on your side.  Call (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.