In case the military suspects you have committed a crime, the investigators will eventually ask to talk to you. But that conversation will not be on your turf. The interview will be conducted in the investigators’ office, behind guarded and locked doors, and perhaps in a small, windowless interrogation room. You will be directed where to sit.
Keep in mind that the entire scene and all methods used are staged, scripted, and perfectly calibrated for the highest possible level of psychological impact. This isn’t a conversation; it’s a hunt for confession and can last all day long if you let it. Therefore, it’s recommended to work with a reputable Tacoma military defense lawyer to understand your legal options. Here are more tips to help you get through the interrogation harmlessly and quickly.
Get the investigators to share information with you
One of the simplest and most effective ways of ending an interrogation quickly is by telling the interrogators that you will not make a statement and you need to speak to an attorney immediately. In this case, you will not get details about the allegation, but the method works. Don’t be meek about your choice; be firm and avoid asking whether you have the right to an attorney. All you need to do is to invoke your rights and get to safety.
In case you want to know more about the allegations before you invoke your rights, it’s advisable to enquire if the interrogation is being recorded. It’s crucial to ensure that everything you say and the interrogators say is being recorded. Once you are sure everything is being captured, start asking your questions. Do this before the interrogators attempt to get any biographical details or initiate small talks.
At the minimum, ensure that you can get answers to the following questions;
- Am I being investigated?
- What kind of misconduct or crime am I being suspected of committing?
- What particular article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice are you investigating me for?
As far as you are concerned, the interrogation isn’t going to be a two-way street. Your perspective should be that if the interrogators want to talk to you, it would be fair if you know what the interrogation is all about.
Though you should always tell the truth, you should deny committing the alleged crime. Once you are sure of what you are being accused of, make your denial. ‘I didn’t do that,’ ‘I am innocent,’ ‘that’s not true,’ or any other form your denial may take, make it clear that you didn’t commit the alleged crimes. Use this option whether or not the session is being recorded.
Invoke your rights
After denying the allegations, tell the interrogators that you are not going to any statement, you will not consent to the search of your property or residence, and you are not going to give in the interview. Always be firm and polite.
If you doubt anything, invoke your rights.