Rule 4: Pay attention to accurate documentation
Officials are obliged to draw up a precise list of the items seized and to provide you with a list of the seizures. This is a mandatory law that is not at the disposal of investigators. Avoid signing this impound report. You don’t have anything to confirm, the investigators do.
Sometimes during the search, officers say things like:
“If you don’t sign it will only make it worse, because then you’ll be arrested.”
“It’s better for you not to call a defense lawyer. You’ll upset the court.”
“If you make a confession now, I’ll put in a good word with the prosecutor. I know him very well and I know that this is the only way to avoid arrest.”
Such claims are not only false, but also legally inadmissible.
Unfortunately, it happens again and again that, if no lawyer is present, such tricks are used to exploit the weakness of the accused at the first access.
The accused who follows such “advice” digs his own grave in criminal proceedings – with usually devastating consequences for the further course of the proceedings.
The safest way to defend yourself against such unacceptable attempts at deception is to insist on the presence of a lawyer. The second best way is to ask investigators who make questionable remarks about what they consider to be the best “defense strategy” to record them or at least repeat them in front of independent witnesses.
The “black sheep” among investigators usually quickly become correct again when they face the risk of their methods becoming transparent and legally verifiable.