When police officers in Texas suspect you of a crime, they will probably arrest you. In some cases, the police arrest people that they don’t currently have enough evidence to bring charges against in court. They may hope that during the arrest process and the person’s time in jail they can gather enough information to successfully bring charges.
Unfortunately, the decisions people make while they are in state custody can limit their defense options in court later or help build the case used against them. Although you likely understand your right to remain silent at least in theory, you could still easily make a mistake in state custody by saying the wrong thing even if you think you have asserted that right.
What are some ways that people help the police build the case against them while in state custody?
They talk to other people in custody
Some police departments have confidential informants that may occasionally spend time in holding cells or other state facilities to interact with suspects and inmates. These people may intentionally try to start conversations with certain individuals in the hopes that they will implicate themselves somehow.
Anything you say to someone else while in state custody could end up being part of the case against you. Jailhouse informants are also a risk. Someone could repeat or even exaggerate something you said while in custody in the hopes of lessening their own sentence.
They talk too much during their phone calls
Your right to make a phone call can help you connect with an attorney or ask someone to bail you out of jail. Unfortunately, the state will almost certainly record the phone calls you make while in custody. In fact, a large-scale investigation has found that authorities and private companies in multiple states even record and analyze phone calls between inmates and their attorneys.
While the state may not use a phone call between you and your lawyer in court, what you say during that call could affect your case. Anything you say when talking to someone other than a lawyer could become part of the evidence against you.
They fall victim to police manipulation
Police officers can and likely will lie to you to trick you into doing what they want. They might tell you, for example, that they really sympathize with you and they want to help, but they need information first. Police officers will potentially make false promises or outright lie to your face to get you to make statements that implicate yourself while in their custody.
Learning more about how your words could put you at risk can help you make smart choices while facing criminal charges.