So, law enforcement, “just wants to talk” about a criminal investigation.  Here’s what we think.

If you’ve been contacted by an investigator about alleged criminal activity here in Northern Virginia, we believe it’s absolutely necessary that you speak with an attorney about your rights. Here’s why.

Anything you say can be used against you (even if you think it’s helpful).

While you might think that just chatting won’t hurt, and maybe even it will help you, the reality is that words can convict you. In criminal prosecutions, harmful admissions can mean the difference between an acquittal and a jail sentence. So, you need to recognize the seriousness of making statements to law enforcement.

Law enforcement are trained to interrogate you.

You may think you have the truth on your side.  But investigators are trained to interrogate people.  They are also trained to elicit incriminating statements.  If you’re reading this article, you’re likely new to the criminal justice system.  And law enforcement does this for their job.  So, be smart and talk to an attorney.

Law enforcement can lie to you.

Police are allowed to lie to you. Courts have ruled time and time again that deceptive behavior by law enforcement is ok during investigations. So, why would you voluntarily submit to an interrogation that allows outright deceit by law enforcement?

In theory asserting your 5th Amendment Rights shouldn’t be used against you.

You may be concerned that, “lawyering up” may make you look guilty.  Under the U.S. Constitution, the 5th Amendment allows you the Constitutional Right to not incriminate yourself. Indeed, your silence is not to be held against you.  With that said, we are all humans, and we get your concern.  It still doesn’t change our opinion.

In our experience, they’ve already decided what they want to do.  So, now they either need the evidence or they are just trying to lock in their case. 

At least in our experience, law enforcement is contacting you because they’ve already decided that you are the criminal target.  All they need now is the evidence to prosecute you.  And your statements will make their goal a who lot easier. 

Maybe, “lawyering up” might anger law enforcement. But it’s likely because they wanted to take advantage of your ignorance of the law. 

More questions?

James Abrenio is an award winning Fairfax Personal Injury & Criminal Defense attorney.  Abrenio Law handles cases throughout Northern Virginia.  If you have additional questions, reach out to as at Ph. 703-570-4180 for your Free Consultation.  You can also email James directly at