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Should You Talk To Federal Law Enforcement?

November 2, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Law enforcement agencies and officers have, for years, been viewed negatively by the public eye. A recent publication by the Daily Mail evidences this. The publication states that only 8% of Americans under 30 years old have a great deal of police trust. This is an insufficient number. Such statistics cause eyebrow raises and the question of whether or not you should talk to Federal Law Enforcement Officers. This article seeks to answer this question and more.

Before answering this question, however, it is essential to understand Federal Law Enforcement fully. What is it, and who is involved? Federal Law Enforcement involves several agencies with a primary role in maintaining law and order in New Jersey and the United States. Some of these agencies include:

  • The United States Customs and Border Protection
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI
  • The Secret Service
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF
  • United States Marshals Services USMS
  • Drug Enforcement Administration DEA
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons BOP

Officers from these agencies are generally authorized to carry firearms and make arrests.

From an ideal perspective, one should always talk to Federal Law Enforcement. However, realistically and from the statistics and people’s general attitude, this is not the case. Whether a person should or should not talk to law enforcement is highly dependent on specific situations and circumstances. Therefore, there are instances where you should and others where you should not. Some questions to ask yourself before you decide:

  • Are you guilty of an offense at the time when the communication is to be made?
  • Has a crime been committed against you?
  • Is it an issue that requires the involvement of law enforcement?
  • Is your security/safety or that of other people around you when you are to talk compromised?

Why you SHOULD talk to law enforcement in New Jersey

1. Your safety is guaranteed. Early in June, the Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, directed that all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey begin publicly identifying all law enforcement officers accused of severe disciplinary violations. No law enforcement officer would, therefore, compromise themselves in any way by causing you harm. Therefore, whatever your issue may be, whether for or even against law enforcement, you should speak out without fear.

2. It is illegal not to speak out. This point is specifically about speaking to law enforcement concerning some instances or evidence. For example, if you witness or know something about a crime or a matter under investigation. Not talking to law enforcement about what you know may be considered hiding evidence. Therefore, you risk being charged with obstruction of justice in a court of law if you do not speak.

3. It is the right thing to do. Law enforcement measures are put in place to maintain law and public order and protect you. Therefore, it is only suitable to talk to that put in place for you.

4. You will not be deported. This applies to immigrants. For a long time, immigrants were afraid of speaking out about crimes against them. The Immigrant Trust Directive, however, covers them, and they can, therefore, speak out without fear. This directive aimed to build immigrants’ trust in law enforcement officers and the overall effect to reduce crime in New Jersey.

5. Many measures have been put in place to protect, serve, and build New Jersey residents’ trust. Residents can trust law enforcement to act in their favor and for their excellent. This makes it paramount to talk to law enforcement.

Why you SHOULD NOT talk to law enforcement in New Jersey

Suppose you are guilty of a crime. Law enforcement officers have to uphold the law. Therefore, if you are a criminal and are guilty, many stakes are high against you. Ever heard of the phrase “Whatever you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”? Well, it stands. Therefore, you should be guilty of a crime to not talk to law enforcement before talking to your lawyer. This applies during the time of arrest and even in custody. Do not speak without your criminal lawyer.

Law enforcement is not an enemy to the people but rather a helper. Therefore, it does more good than harm to speak to law enforcement. As seen in the article, it is better to talk to law enforcement in New Jersey. Whether you are answering a routine call, have evidence of something, want to report a crime or have a concern, you should not hold back. Talk to law enforcement.

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