Asked to come down to the station
If you have been contacted by law enforcement personnel or other government actors, and asked to come in to answer some questions in order to assist them in some kind of investigation, you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Since the state has no obligation to tell you anything about what they are really working on, you might be surprised by some of the questions they ask, and you might be suddenly tempted to withhold or falsify some small detail that might seem to unnecessarily harm someone you do not want to harm, or to make you look guilty in some way. This "white lie" -- as a knowingly made false statement to police in an investigation (if a felony case), could result in you being charged and convicted of a felony crime like Obstructing Justice or Accessory after the Fact to a felony. If you choose to speak with criminal investigators, you should be prepared to give truthful answers to any question you answer. So what if they get to a question to which your truthful response may tend to incriminate you? Do you then plead the 5th Amendment and decline to answer that question? Seems almost like an answer doesn't it? You have a right to remain silent and you can have an attorney present for questioning if you do choose to speak with investigators. The decision to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney beforehand about how this situation might be approached could end up being one of the best decisions you have made.
You may feel that showing any hesitation to cooperate might put you under
suspicion. This may or may not be true. But even if you have not committed any crime that you know of, it is quite possible that you are under suspicion, and that your simple answers to a few questions may provide investigators with confirmation of enough other information that they have received from other sources (possibly some guilty party) that tends to put you in a bad light, and that may result in you being charged with a crime. [The fact that some of the key information they have been provided is false may not be able to be addressed by you or your attorney until much later in the process (like preparing for trial), because the investigators may choose not to provide you with accurate details regarding this information when "interviewing" you]. Investigators are allowed, and even trained to use falsehoods to trick suspects into incriminating themselves. If they suspect you, they need not advise you of this. They may tell you that others have said things that they have not, in fact, said. The truth should be your friend. Even small lies will almost surely come back to haunt you. But the phrase, "everything you say, can and will be used against you" is often a more profound reality than you might imagine. Even if you are completely innocent and tell only the truth, your statements (combined with false statements of others) may be used to assist those who are building a case against you based on their reliance on false information from other sources. The law does not allow an accused person's exercise of their right to remain silent to be used against them at trial.
If you are unable to make bond, keep telephone calls from the jail to a minimum, and understand that calls from jails are recorded and available to local prosecutors, who can, at the very least, gain insights into your mindset, if not evidence that they can somehow use against you (that they may not provide to you and your attorney in discovery until months later). If you value your privacy and want to protect your interests, you need to speak with your attorney in private and keep phone calls from the jail short and never discuss your case on those calls, nor with anyone but your attorney.
Our general answer: Yes, you probably should... and, almost surely not. But whatever you do, make sure you do not miss your court date.
As to Motor Vehicle Offenses.
The short answer - Chances are that for most charges you can do much better than simply going to court and pleading guilty as charged, but just showing up at court as summoned (not missing your court date) is very important. For many charges an attorney can handle your case without you ever going to court.
Motor vehicle offenses range from quite minor citations to serious offenses, like DWIs, that can result in substantial active jail time loss of driving privileges and substantial costs. Even with some of the lesser charges, if you simply plead guilty without considering your driving record, such a plea might result in insurance points that may increase your insurance costs, and license points that could lead to a revocation. The status of your drivers license ( your driving record) is something that should always be considered. There are often pleas to lesser offenses (rather than a "straight up" guilty plea) that the Assistant District Attorney will agree to, that would better serve your interests.
The broad range of motor vehicle related charges for which you might find your name on a District Court Criminal calendar, have one thing in common , and that is: that your failure to appear at court on the appointed date and time may ultimately result in turning even a simple charge that might have been dealt with at minimal expense and with little or no effect on your driving record on that date, into a bigger problem, requiring more worry, time and expense for you. A Failure to Appear, if not dealt with promptly, can result in a drivers license revocation, that could result in you being charged with Driving While Revoked if you are pulled over while the revocation is in effect. This, of course, results in you having a new court date. And the case for which you failed to appear is no longer on the court calendar but still needs to be dealt with. At this point the person often ends up hiring an attorney to clean up the mess. This is actually not at all uncommon. The moral of this story might be: just hire an experienced attorney and let them handle these matters for you from the beginning.
The bottom line is --they will probably not dismiss your case.
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