[[quoteright:350:[[Series/TheDefenders2017 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_opfr30nd091uqfsrjo5_1280.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Series/JessicaJones2015, stop talking. Hi, this is over."[[note]]From left to right: [[Creator/SimoneMissick Misty Knight]], [[Creator/CharlieCox Matt Murdock]], and [[Creator/KrystenRitter Jessica Jones]][[/note]]]]

The accused is in an interrogation room, and has demanded a lawyer, who has arrived. The lawyer sits at his client's side as the detectives/crime lab/whoever drops a key piece of evidence on the table and accuses them again of the crime.

The client immediately begins to confess. Sometimes the lawyer will attempt half-heartedly to stop him ("Don't answer that" or "This interview is over"), but the new evidence causes so much grief and repentance that the victim gives a bone-chilling MotiveRant which real-life detectives would kill to have. Sometimes, the lawyers don't say ''anything''. One can only assume they got their payments up front. Often the result of an ExasperatedPerp.

Legally speaking, the detectives can ask anything they want once the lawyer is available to the client, but if the lawyer asks or demands to speak to the client alone, then police officers are required to leave the room or otherwise allow a private discussion. The fact that the lawyers in TV shows simply tell their clients not to answer something does not prevent the detectives from continuing to question. Which usually means that the lawyers are pretty damn ineffectual.

Another type of ''Don't Answer That'' (featured in ''Series/TheCloser'' frequently, and both nonfiction-book and fictional-TV versions of ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'') is a ploy used by a detective to get suspects to waive their rights. ("He came at you, didn't he? That's self-defense. Whole different thing, then..." "Yeah, he did! He-!" "Whoa, whoa--don't answer that--you can't tell me that sort of thing unless you sign this waiver...")[[note]]For the record, this is not true, at least in the American legal system. While the police would probably love for a suspect to waive their right to counsel, it's not a necessity for questioning, as one must specifically invoke one's right to counsel for it to apply.[[/note]]

The meta-reason for this trope is that viewers are aware that the interviewee is entitled to have a lawyer in the room, but [[LivingProp narratively, they have nothing to do]] - the interesting interaction in the scene is between the suspect and the investigator, and having the lawyer do his job realistically would just put [[ObstructiveBureaucrat frustrating bureaucratic roadblocks]] in the way of the PullTheThread process.

See also OnlyBadGuysCallTheirLawyers.

'''Not to be confused''' with when someone tells someone else not to answer the door, phone, or whatever, or when one character asks an overly obvious or hypothetical question, and then quickly tacks on, "Don't answer that!" when he realizes that he's just committed a RhetoricalQuestionBlunder.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A variation in ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'', where DirtyCop Arnold Flass pretty much ''brags'' to Captain Gordon and Harvey Dent that his [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections mob connections]] would kill anyone willing to testify against him ''tout suite''. His lawyer sputters an immediate "My client didn't mean that..."

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/ChrysalisVisitsTheHague'', Estermann instructs his client Chrysalis to zip it when asked about her [[HiveQueen job and work]], as it may work against her during the trial.

* ''Film/KangarooJack'': A non-legal example combined with RuleOfThree when Charlie pulls a gun on MrSmith to save Jessie.
--> '''Smith:''' Have you ever held a gun before, Charlie?\\
'''Louis:''' Don't answer that.\\
'''Charlie:''' (''{{beat}}'') No.\\
'''Smith:''' Have you ever killed anyone before, Charlie?\\
'''Louis:''' Don't answer that.\\
'''Charlie:''' (''{{beat}}'') No.\\
'''Smith:''' What is it you do that makes you so brave?\\
'''Louis:''' ''Really'' don't answer that.\\
'''Charlie:''' (''{{beat}}, then raises gun'') [[RealMenWearPink I'm a hairdresser.]] Now ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome drop the knife]]''.

* A variant is done in ''Literature/{{Betrayed}}'', when two police officers interview Zoey about the deaths and disappearances of several boys she knew from her human high school. Neferet sits in on the interrogation and continuously interrupts by insisting that Zoey not answer the questions. Given that Neferet was in no way acting as Zoey's legal advisor, was not a parent or guardian, and in fact informed the officers that all vampire students are legally emancipated ([[FridgeLogic somehow]]), one wonders why the officers put up with her constant interruptions at all.
* The primary job of the various accountants of the old-money Lavish family in ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' is either advising their clients of this, or performing an after-the-fact version by disclaimer (for instance, when one Lavish casually mentions the idea of poison in relation to [[ItMakesSenseInContext a very unhelpful dog]], her lawyer immediately chips in to say [[ExactWords she was not referring to any particular course of action]], only the existence of poisons ''in general''). In the climactic trial scene, Anhk-Morpork's chief zombie lawyer, Mr. Slant, asks a question of the Lavishes which causes their entire legal department to object at once. Slant makes them sit back down, in unison, with a single DeathGlare.

* If a suspect on ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has a lawyer, they are invariably there for the purpose of saying this. One episode where Bones was the defendant had her increasingly exasperated lawyer [[LampshadeHanging marvel]] at just how GenreBlind Bones is for someone who works with the authorities all the time (Bones proactively gave the cops quite a bit of information that, unintentionally, made her appear ''more'' guilty than if she had just sat quietly until her lawyer could arrive).
%%* Ditto with all the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' series.
%%* Same with most of the variants of ''Franchise/LawAndOrder''.
* Played with in ''Series/NewTricks''. The suspect is technically not entitled to a lawyer in the circumstances, but is stubbornly refusing to speak without one. They set up an elaborate charade whereby an OldFashionedCopper pretends to be an obstructive defense lawyer who aggravates the investigator to the point that he flies into a rage and "shoots" him, terrifying the perp into confessing.
* All the ''time'' on the ''Series/TheCloser''. The perps never, ever listen to their lawyers unless the plot requires it. Sayeth one smart lawyer:
-->"I hate my job."
* ''Series/TheWire'' plays a realistic version of this when it comes to the bureaucratic hurdles the police have to deal with. Bunk Moreland and Jimmy [=McNulty=] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY_5KP9cHRI decide to trick D'Angelo Barksdale]] into writing a letter of condolence to the non-existent family of a recently murdered witness[[note]]The photo is actually one of Bunk's own kids that he keeps at his desk[[/note]] (hoping he'll include some incriminating information) as they wait for [[AmoralAttorney Maurice Levy]] to arrive. He gets there just in time, tells D'Angelo to stop writing immediately, and drags him out the door.
* In the PrisonEpisode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E19FolsomPrisonBlues "Folsom Prison Blues" (S02, Ep19)]] of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', this is an AvertedTrope with the Winchester's public defender stopping the FBI interrogation and asking to meet with her clients alone.
* ''Series/{{Hunter}}'': It's Rick Hunter who does this despite being a CowboyCop, in an episode involving a VigilanteMan who [[AssholeVictim killed a gangster who raped his wife]]. The man is just about to confess when Hunter says, "Stop!" then advises him of his rights, specifically the right to contact a lawyer. And the lawyer just happens to be a skilled AmoralAttorney who's frustrated Hunter in the past. Of course, a police officer advising a suspect to contact a particular lawyer would be illegal, as said lawyer points out.
* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', this is one of M. Allison Hart's tactics for annoying Gibbs during interrogations.
* ''Series/LukeCage2016'': After Mariah Dillard kills Cottonmouth in the heat of a fight, she and Shades pay off Candace Miller to provide a false story to the police implicating Luke Cage in the crime. The two of them also make sure to send in [[AmoralAttorney Ben Donovan]], a crooked attorney on loan from Wilson Fisk and who bailed Cottonmouth out of custody when he was arrested for killing Misty Knight's partner, to make sure that Candace doesn't deviate from the cover story when Misty interrogates her. The first words out of Donovan's mouth when he enters the room mid-interrogation are:
-->'''Benjamin Donovan:''' Don't say another word, Miss Miller. I'm representing you now.
-->'''Det. Misty Knight:''' Is this ''snake'' your lawyer? Candace, if you're not guilty, you'll answer my questions.
-->'''Benjamin Donovan:''' Nice try. My client isn't under arrest, Miss Miller?
-->'''Candace Miller:''' I'm not guilty. What else do you want to know?
-->'''Benjamin Donovan:''' Miss Miller, don't say another word.
-->'''Det. Misty Knight:''' We used luminol and found traces of blood in Mr. Stokes' shower, even though it had been heavily bleached.
-->'''Benjamin Donovan:''' ''[to Candace]'' Stand up and walk out.
-->'''Det. Misty Knight:''' It's a good thing you got this high-powered flunky. I'm about to nail your ass to the wall.
-->'''Candace Miller:''' It was Luke Cage! ''[beat]'' After I showered, I came out to see Cornell. I still needed my paycheck. I heard loud voices and a struggle. That's when I walked out and I saw Mr. Stokes down below on the floor. Luke Cage saw me and ran away. He was wearing bright yellow gloves, like the kind he used to use when he washed dishes.
-->'''Det. Misty Knight:''' And you're positive it was Luke Cage?
-->'''Candace Miller:''' You would know. I saw you two at the bar together the other night. I saw you talking outside, too. May I go now?
-->'''Det. Misty Knight:''' Candace, look me in the eye. You were too scared to go upstairs and serve Cottonmouth without Luke. Table number seven, right? And then you started sleeping with him? But you still call him "Mr. Stokes." And you can't even tell me about his private entrance! What do they have on you, huh? Is it money? How much are they paying you?
-->'''Benjamin Donovan:''' ''[to Misty]'' This is over. We're done.
* ''Series/TheDefenders2017'' (pictured above): [[CallBack Poor Misty Knight, always being interrupted by those damn lawyers that uncooperative suspects in murder investigations magically summon out of the blue.]] This time around, Misty is interrogating Series/JessicaJones2015. Jessica has been arrested after John Raymond is attacked by Elektra in Jessica's apartment ([[BetterToDieThanBeKilled and took his own life]]), and Misty had earlier caught Jessica stealing evidence from an apartment where John had stockpiled explosives. As Jessica is about to tell Misty that John killed himself over "weirdass shit", the door suddenly opens and [[Series/Daredevil2015 Matt Murdock]] walks in.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' Jessica Jones, stop talking. Hi. This is over.
-->'''Jessica Jones:''' ''[looks at Matt, confused]'' [[WhoAreYou Who the hell are you?]]
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' ''[smiles]'' My name is Matthew Murdock. I'm your attorney.
-->'''Jessica Jones:''' ''[glances back and forth between Matt and Misty in wide-eyed disbelief]''

* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' [[http://schlockmercenary.com/d/20040506.html invokes this trope]]

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* On TheSimpsons, an angry defendant began ranting in open court about how "I'll kill you all!" His lawyer quietly reminded him that "That [[{{Understatement}} could be interpreted as a threat]]."