The short answer is absolutely not! Most people think, “since I did not do what I have been accused of, there should be no problem with me going to C.I.D. and telling my side of the story.” The truth is that you might be making one of the biggest mistakes of your life. This post will address what you should do when facing criminal charges as a soldier–and what could happen if you talk.
You’re Facing Accusations. What Happens Next?
What you will find out after hours (six to eight hours seem to be the average) of being interrogated is that C.I.D. are on a mission to make you confess. Everything you do and say will be used against you, and at times even twisted out of context to fit the “truth” according to them. You will find yourself being intimidated and called names. You might have your faith or morals questioned, all the while being told the consequences of what can happen to you if you do not “cooperate.” And by cooperate, they mean confess.
During my time as an attorney, absolutely nothing positive has come from a client that has been interviewed with C.I.D. Never in my experience has C.I.D. determined that the alleged victim was being untruthful and let the accused go about their life. Never has C.I.D. used their investigative resources to exonerate the accused. It is all a fact-finding expedition to further the goal of finding you guilty.
What If You Give C.I.D. A Statement Before Hiring An Attorney?
One of the toughest hurdles in the defense of a court martial is when the accused has given a statement to C.I.D. before they have hired an attorney. These statements might include confessions, partial confessions, false confessions–coerced or otherwise. And many times, the statements are taken out of context.
For example, the accused states “I made some bad decisions, and I regret that night.” What was being communicated referred to drinking and being put in this position of being accused. However, quite frequently something like this statement is portrayed by C.I.D. to relate to the crime you were accused of. The environment and the way these interviews are conducted also cause false confessions.
For more info on false confessions: False confessions, new data and law enforcement interrogations: Research findings
What Should You Do If You’re Taken To The C.I.D. offices?
Be polite, invoke your right to remain silent, and request an attorney. Do not waive these rights. Some people think it looks “shady” to not cooperate and “lawyer up!” Do yourself a favor and exercise these very important rights.