For those in the US:
Do not talk to the police. This includes, but is not limited to: local police, state police, FBI, CIA, FDA, DEA, bailiffs, CPS, DAs, prosecutors, MPs, investigators, any type of LEO, and all alphabets. If you want to be extra cautious you can not talk to anyone in a relationship with any of these people, especially those who will have testimonial immunity at their spouses’ trial for corruption.
We all know this and we all know why. It doesn’t matter if you think it isn’t incriminating. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you have broken the law. Are you familiar with ALL Federal and State statutes and related case law? Innocent people as well as the guilty are well advised to not talk to the police. If you haven’t already done so, I would suggest that you watch The Wire.
But the police said they have a warrant to talk to me.
That’s not a thing. They may have a warrant to trespass on your property or steal your stuff. They might issue a subpoena which will legally require you to testify in court or in front of a grand jury. There is no legal document in the US that requires you to talk to a cop in the field or a prosecutor in their office. If you are subpoenaed to testify you have no legal obligation to talk to the prosecutor ahead of time, answer his calls, respond to his emails, etc. (Some states require you to state your name and address to a cop on request. Some require you to state your business/where you are going; I do not think that these survive Constitutional scrutiny, but the law is there. You have to show your drivers’ license if you are DRIVING a vehicle.)
But the police said they need me to answer some questions. “I need to talk to you,” “I need you do answer a few questions,” etc.
They probably do. That’s not your problem. YOU don’t need to do anything except not talk to the police. You need to be hyper-technical when listening to the police.
But the police said they want me to come in to discuss some unrelated issue.
And you believe that? The police lie. The police are authorized by the Supreme Court to lie. And unless you are familiar with the files of every prosecution and investigation then you can not assess which issues are related and which are not.
But the police said that if I don’t talk to them they will arrest me.
That might be true. They either have probable cause or they don’t. If they don’t, they “can’t” arrest you. If they do, don’t make it worse. Don’t trade an attempt to not be arrested for a more likely conviction. You also don’t know what probable cause they have or how to destroy it, so your odds of convincing them not to arrest you is effectively zero. If they do have probable cause, they are going to arrest you anyway.
But the police said I have to come talk to them.
Its likely that they technically didn’t claim this, but some departments are better trained than others. In any case, its not true. The only thing the State can use to summon you to a particular place to talk is a subpoena. And that subpoena will summon you to a court room. (You could also be subpoenaed to a civil deposition, but this will involve lawyers, a law suit, and sometimes will take case in a room in a courthouse anyway. You will not be talking to the police in a civil deposition.)
But the police said they can make this warrant go away if I talk to them.
A warrant is an order by a judge. If it is an arrest warrant it orders police in that jurisdiction to arrest you on sight. The police can not change this. They may or may not be lying about the existence of the warrant.
But the police said it will go better for me if I talk.
There have been cases where courts have ruled that the cops who said things like this were in fact not lying, because the cop could have been referring to God punishing the suspect less if he came clean or the suspect having a better time with his conscience if he confessed. It will NOT go “better for you” in court.
But the police said they will not go after my wife/friend/mom/etc if I talk to them.
This is a plea offer. Police are not authorized to make plea offers. If you are in a position where you need to make a plea deal, you need to talk to an attorney who will speak with the prosecutor. Your statements will be admissible and your people will be in the exact same position they were before, whatever that position actually was.
But, I already did one of the above/someone else told them/its on the internet/etc.
Case law is full of people who screw themselves because they thought that they had already screwed themselves. Do not talk to the police, even about something you have already spoken to them about. They are asking again for a reason. While your situation is not as advantageous as someone who has not talked to the police, it is more advantageous as someone who has talked to the police two, etc times. As far as someone else told them, see the McDonalds interrogation scene from The Wire, you don’t know that even if you think you do. Any evidence they may have besides a statement from you is not as good as a statement from you- which is why they are trying to get a statement from you.
If you are in a position where you think you need to figure out your legal risks, you have to talk to someone about it, or you think you need to talk to the police for some reason- call a defense attorney. If the police are insisting that you need to talk to them and you don’t think you are going to be able to hold out, tell them that you want an attorney. Tell them that you invoke your right to remain silent and you want to talk to an attorney.