What, if anything, should you tell police when facing a potential DUI? Furthermore, what if you are arrested? What should you tell police when they take you to the station. The simplest answer is: nothing. Why? Courts made clear that they aren’t concerned with police deception. Their only concern is forced coercion. Therefore, as long as police aren’t forcing you to confess, they have broad power to interrogate you and obtain evidence against you in any way possible.
Forced Coercion in DUI Interrogation: How Far Do Police Rights Go?
The key case that establishes police deception, is Illinois v. Perkins. Perkins was a defendant already serving time in prison. Another inmate, Donald Charlton, overheard that Perkins committed a murder unrelated to his current sentence. Charlton informed police about what he heard. Then, the police used Charlton and another inmate as informants. The informants obtained a confession from Perkins.
Although forced coercion is banned, the court held that the interaction was not an interrogation. Instead, they wrote that the police were using “strategic deception” and such tactics are not the same as forcing someone to talk. However, deception and coercion vary quite greatly. So, what exactly are the rules? And what do police have the right to do when it comes to getting a confession for wrongdoing?
The grey area…
There is a difference between these two concepts. However, there is a grey area between coercion and deception. Police cannot bribe or make false offers to a suspect in exchange for a confession or information. In the Fullminante case, police offered a suspect “protection” on false grounds in order to have him talk. As a result, the court decided that police could not use techniques like that to get information from a suspect.
Therefore, if police have suspicion that you are guilty of DUI, they will likely try and get you to talk. However, they legally cannot force or coerce information from you on false pretenses. The best strategy for any person facing a potential DUI, is to remember that you have the right to remain silent. If you believe that police did force information from you, the facts of your case are extremely important. Make sure to review such information with your attorney about your DUI case. That way, your case considers all of the information, rather than a false statement.