What happens if you admit to the commission of a crime when questioned by the authorities and they don’t arrest youon the spot?

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What happens if you admit to the commission of a crime when questioned by the authorities and they don’t arrest youon the spot?

I purchased some pills on-line twice. A package addressed to me was intercepted and the guy was arrested. The DEA came by my apartment and I played dumb at first but eventually broke down and confessed. They told me I was not under arrest and proceeded to answer some of their questions. They also told me my cooperation could only help me. I did not physically have any pills so I was not in possession. I know it was stupid but I was scared. What happens now? Should I be expecting to get arrested? When? Can I be granted immunity for helping their case against the guy? Should I speak with a criminal defense attorney? In Travis County, TX.

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Several things could happen now, including your arrest.  This is true regardless of what you were told when questioned.  The fact is that in such a situation you were under no obligation to speak with the authorities, even if they showed up at your house.  You got scared and said things that you shouldn't have - at least without having an attorney present.  They rely on this fear to get people to talk without proper legal representation.  Yet, as the saying goes - "better late then never". Consult with a criminal defense lawyer ASAP.  They can help lessen any further damage.  If the authorities need your continued co-operation to make their case against this on-line seller, you may still have some leverage.  However, if your testimony is not necessary, then they will in all liklihood proceed with charges against you.  Again, speak with a criminal law attorney immediately, and whatever you do, don't speak to the authorities again until you do.


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