Never Speak to the Police

Image of Man in Jail in Alaska
This is What Happens When You Speak to Police

Never Speak to the Police

As a criminal defense lawyer who has spent over 25 years practicing law, the Trial Guy, attorney Eric Derleth has seen it all. Often, a criminal defendant will make incriminatory statements that lead to arrest or a conviction. Any good criminal lawyer will tell a criminal suspect to make no statements to the police under any circumstances. Any criminal attorney letting their client speak to the police is foolish in almost every instance.  So, to reiterate, Never, Ever Speak to the Police!

Criminal Defense Lawyer Eric Derleth has been practicing criminal law for over 25 years in Alaska. With offices in Anchorage and Soldotna, Eric handles criminal matters in Kenia, the Palmer/Wasilla areas, and throughout Alaska. If you or a loved one faces a felony or misdemeanor criminal charges, please contact attorney Eric at 907-262-9164 or contact us online. We have helped thousands of clients successfully in criminal cases and jury trials.  

You Have a Right to Remain Silent

The U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect everyone in Alaska and throughout the U.S. from giving the cops any information that could aid them in making a case against you in a criminal court.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution reads in part that no man:

"shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

This part of our Bill of Rights is known as the Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination. The seminal case of Miranda v. Arizona held that:

"When an individual is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom by the authorities in any significant way and is subjected to questioning, the privilege against self-incrimination is jeopardized."

Essentially, Miranda made the Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination a Fourth Amendment Issue as well. Before any custodial interrogation by the police, an officer must Miranda Warning must be read to every suspect. We have all seen Miranda warnings issued on TV or Netflix cop shows anytime a criminal suspect is arrested or before they begin an interrogation by the police.

The rule of law is simple. The application of the law by the courts is what makes these simple laws very complex. The facts and circumstances of each case are different. Any good lawyer will always prioritize and identify any potential violation of Your Rights as an effective defense against any possible criminal charges. Suppose your attorney can find a potential violation of your legal rights. Therefore, any evidence obtained from the illegal seizure of evidence by the police will be excluded from evidence, and sometimes charges may be dismissed or significantly reduced. Evidence excluded in this way is excluded upon the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.  A doctrine that extends the exclusionary rule to make evidence inadmissible in court if it was derived from illegally obtained evidence.

As with any legal rule, there are broad exceptions and interpretations of the law by various judges and courts. That is why it is essential to have an experienced lawyer with over 25 years of criminal defense experience handle any criminal matter. Your case may depend on your attorney's expertise in finding any violation of your rights. Despite the clear law that states an American's Rights against self-incrimination, too many people refuse to exercise their ability to refuse to answer any questions from a police officer.

Always, Always Ask for A Lawyer!

This cannot be stressed enough. If you find yourself the subject of any possible criminal investigation, never speak to a police officer, or answer questions. The police must give you a Miranda warning before any custodial interrogation, but they need not stop questioning you. However, as soon as you unequivocally ask for a lawyer, any interrogation must cease until you have spoken with an attorney. If you are being arrested in Anchorage or Soldotna, Alaska, always ask for a lawyer immediately so the police can no longer question you. Beware, cops are sneaky. You must stop talking, and you cannot talk again after asking for a lawyer. These actions may later be construed as a waiver of your rights. And you must ask for a lawyer specifically and clearly.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Why You Should Never Speak to the Police

We could write a book on the numerous reasons a criminal suspect or someone facing criminal charges should never speak to the police. Remember the adage, “loose lips sink ships?” This American idiom tries to warn people of unguarded talk that could come back to hurt you or others. Loose lips generally refer to people with big lips, associated with “big mouths.”

It would help if you never spoke to the police because everything you say can be used against you in court. Statements made by criminal defendants may be misconstrued, misheard, purposefully, or not. Your own words can come back and haunt you in a criminal trial. The slightest remark or the tiniest inconsistency in a story can lead to your conviction on serious criminal charges. Plus false confessions are a real thing. Some studies have shown significant numbers of false confessions, especially after lengthy interrogations by the police without an attorney present. Even innocent people may give away information that can have to convicted for a crime in court. Innocent people go to jail all the time in America. And even if you are guilty and wish to plead guilty, there is plenty of time before a trial, sentences negotiated and reduced. Often, talking to the police gains you no benefit without a lawyer making a deal and having examined your criminal matter. Simply waiting to speak to a police officer or district attorney after securing an experienced criminal lawyer can shave years and years off a potential prison sentence.

What Information Must I Tell A Police Officer

In Alaska, If stopped by a police officer the only information you must release is your name and identification information. You need not offer any other information or answer further questions, like, “where are you going,” “where have you been,” or “what are you doing?” It's always best to ask if you may leave. If you may go, then do so. If an officer detains you, you are now in a custodial situation and ask for a lawyer.


With Alaska in his blood, for 25 years, the "Trial Guy," Eric Derleth has helped the people in Anchorage, Kenai, and Palmer / Wasilla areas as a personal injury and criminal lawyer. Born and raised in Soldotna, Eric truly understands Alaska’s laws, the people, and the true nature of Alaska. The Trial Guy was raised in a log cabin in Alaska with a belief in America, and a belief in strong individual liberty guaranteed by our Constitution and was raised to fight for the rights of all of Alaska. Eric has expanded his criminal defense and auto accident injury lawyers practice near you, with offices in Anchorage and Soldotna. LEARN MORE ABOUT ERIC