There’s a scene in cop movie after cop movie, where the detective tells the suspect that he understands why they did what he thinks they did. “She didn’t appreciate you.” Or, “She led you on.” Or, “You just lost control.”

Don’t be fooled. If the police — or the DHS — comes to question you, they can say anything they want (police have the right to lie to a suspect), but they’re not interested in helping you. They are interested in charging you (or if they’re DHS, in having an assessment founded against you.)

I have had clients confess everything to a police officer because he or she told them they would go easier on them. I’ve had DHS workers tell clients specifically, “you won’t be charged.” Bull hockey. The DHS can’t decide who gets charged. And the police don’t decide what you’ll be charged with. In Iowa, that’s the county attorney, and he or she will make that call when they see the police report and read the statement of the suspect. What’s charged in court is not always what the police decide initially.

They’ll also tell you that involving a lawyer will make things more difficult. It just isn’t true. It will make it more difficult for the police, but not for you.

Protect your rights. Call experienced counsel before you talk to any investigator.