##Do I Have to Answer Questions from the Police If I Am Not under Arrest?
No. The 5th Amendment of the Constitution protects you from self-incrimination. This means that you have the right to refuse to answer questions a police officer asks you. Usually, you cannot be arrested for refusing to answer questions.
##What Are My Rights When Questioned by Police?
When questioned by the police, you have the right to remain silent. So, you don’t have to answer any questions if you are under arrest.
If you do decide to speak to the police, the statements can be used against you in a court of law. You may stop answering at any time and all questioning by police must stop as well. You have the right to have your attorney present if you decide to answer any questions. The request to have an attorney present must be clear and direct.
Note that, if you are not being arrested, it is usually in your best interest to answer the officer’s routine questions.
##When Do I Have to Provide Some Information to the Police?
While the general rule is that you don’t have to respond to questions from the police, there are some situations where you may be required to provide certain information or answer certain questions.
In many states, if the police see you loitering (usually defined as wandering around with no apparent business, such that you pose a threat to public safety), the police are allowed to ask you for identification and an explanation of what you’re doing. Also, while refusal to answer questions is not a crime (refusal to present identification when suspected of a traffic offense can be a crime.
##What Are Miranda Warnings?
When making an arrest, police are required to give the Miranda warning, which advises people of their rights under the constitution.
Even if you are not under arrest, you do not have to answer any question. However, if a police stops you and asks for identification, it is probably your best interest to cooperate and provide such information.
Miranda warnings are only required when you are in custody and are being interrogated. Custody does not necessarily mean under arrest, but rather the person is in a stage where he believes he is not free to leave. The questions must also be types of questions that will elicit an incriminating response.
##Do the Police Need to “Read Me My Rights” in Order to Question Me?
No. If you have not been arrested the police do not have to read you your rights. The rights referred to are you Miranda Rights. These rights are intended to inform people of their right to remain silent and their right to have an attorney present if they talk to the police. You only need to be read your Miranda Rights if you are in police custody.
If it is clear that you are not and were not involved in any criminal activity and you wish to help the police, it is fine if you answer questions the police ask. But, if you believe the police suspect you of committing a crime or even if you are not sure whether you are a suspect, the best thing to do is remain silent or tell the police you don’t want to say anything without first consulting an attorney. The danger of answering questions is that people often reveal information that can be used against them later without even knowing it.
##Can the Police Stop Me and Question Me?
Even if the officer is mistaken, you do not have the right to keep walking. As long as the officer has a good faith belief in your connection to criminal activity, he is allowed to detain you. Even after the stop you do not have to answer any incriminating questions.
##Do I Need a Lawyer?
Depending on the circumstances, a qualified criminal defense attorney may be appropriate. If you merely witnessed a crime and it is clear you were not involved, you may not need an attorney. But, if you are a suspect or believe you are a suspect, an experience criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights and help you understand the complicated criminal justice system.
Police are allowed to stop you for questioning if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that you are engaged in criminal activity. If the police officer feels that he is in any danger, he is allowed to pat you down in order to search for weapons. This whole process is called a “stop and frisk.” Running from the police is enough of a reason for a “stop and frisk.” Also, while the “frisk” is limited, it can lead to a full blown search which can then lead to an arrest.
Questioning After Arrest:–
##What Happens If the Police Do Not Read My Rights?
The Miranda warning requires police officers to read you your rights and let you know of the certain rights that you have after your arrest. The police must provide the Miranda warnings once you are placed in custody and before any interrogation or questioning. If the police fail to read you your rights before a custodial interrogation, anything you say cannot be used against you in the prosecutors case-in-chief at trial.
Many people believe that if they are placed under arrest and are not read their rights, their case can be dismissed and they can escape punishment. This is not true because if the police place you under arrest, the police do not need to provide any Miranda warnings if they do not interrogate or question the suspect that will result in an incriminating response.
##What Rights Are the Police Required to Provide?
Popularly known as the “Miranda” warning, a defendant’s rights consist of the familiar litany invoked by TV police immediately upon making an arrest:
You have the right to remain silent.
–If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.
–You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning.
–If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
–If you choose to talk to the police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.
–If the person is not placed in custody and has the freedom to leave, then no Miranda warnings are required and anything the person says to the police can be used against them in a criminal trial. The police can also arrest the person if the person confesses voluntarily without any interrogation or questioning by the police.
##Does it Matter Where the Interrogation Take Place?
It doesn’t matter where an interrogation occurs. If you are in custody, the police must read you your rights if they want to question you and use your answers as evidence at trial. If you are not in police custody, however, “Miranda” warnings are not required to be read and anything you say can be used at trial if you are later charged with a crime.
The police questioning also can take place in jail. The suspect does not have to respond to the police interrogation and once the suspect raises their right to remain silent or asks for their attorney, the police must stop all questioning. A police officer also cannot arrest a person just because they wish to remain silent.
Questioning or interrogations during a routine traffic stop does not require the police to provide Miranda warnings.
##What If My Answers Were Forced Out of Me?
Voluntary disclosure of information is generally admissible at trial. However, police officers are not allowed to use physical force or psychological coercion to get you to talk to the suspect. If police officers obtain information through these illegal means, the information is not allowed at trial. In addition, any evidence that is gathered as a result of the illegal questioning will also be inadmissible in a criminal trial even if the evidence was found legally.
This is because the evidence would not have been found without the illegal interrogation by police.
Some interrogations that are illegal for police to engage in are:
Using some type of physical force or torture to get the suspect to talk
Use threats Psychologically or mentally abusing the suspect for questions
##Do I Need a Lawyer If My Rights Were Violated?
If you feel the police violated your rights and you want to file a lawsuit to collect money for your injuries, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights and the complicated legal system.
Do’s and Don’ts When You’ve Been Arrested:-
When you have been arrested, there are many things you should do. For example, you should remain silent and get an attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you with the complicated criminal legal system. There are also many things you shouldn’t do.
You should never talk to anyone about the incident except for your lawyer. What you do or don’t do when you’ve been arrested can have a significant effect on the outcome of your case.
I’ve Been Arrested, What Are Some of the Things I Should Do?
There are many things you can do once you have been arrested (link to arrest page) that will ensure that your rights are not violated. Some of the things you should do include:
Remain silent –
you do not have to answer any questions the police ask you and anything you say can be used against you in court Be polite and respectful towards the police officer(s)
–Contact your Advocate/Lawyer/attorney or ask for one and don’t say anything until they are present
–Try to remember the badge numbers of any officers you are involved with, as well as their patrol car number(s)
–Make sure that your attorney is present for any questioning
–Make sure that your attorney is present for any lineups or testing (such as drawing a blood sample)
–Let your attorney deal with the police and any prosecutors, especially if they offer you some kind of deal
–If you are injured, be sure to take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible and get medical attention
–Try to find witnesses and get their contact information (name, phone number)
##What Are the Things I Should Not Do if I Am Arrested?
If you are arrested, many things that you do can have negative effects on the outcome of your case. To ensure that your rights are protected:
–Do not say anything about the incident to the police.
–Do not mouth off to the police or do anything to upset them.
–Do not attempt to run from the police-you will likely be caught and it will not look good in court.
–Do not say anything about the incident to anyone besides your lawyer (this includes cellmates if you are in jail).
–Do not give the police permission to search anything.
–Do not resist arrest , even if you are innocent, resisting arrest can lead to increased charges. In particular, do not touch the officers in any way.
–Do not believe the things the police tell you in order to get you to talk -the police are allowed to lie to you and often times will tell you it will be easier on you if you just tell the truth. It will only make it easier for the police to prove their case.
–If the police come to your home, do not let them in unless they have a warrant and do not go outside. It may be that they need an arrest warrant to arrest you in your home and if you go outside, you may be arrested without a warrant.
–If the police arrest you outside your home, do not allow any officer to go into your home to get clothes, talk to your wife, etc. If you accept, the police will escort you into your home and begin to search it without a warrant. The same applies to your car.
I’ve Been Arrested, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Yes. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can inform you of your rights and defenses and represent you in court.
The above lists are suggestions of things you should do or not do in order to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced criminal lawyer can help protect your rights as well.
Consult a Lawyer – Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 06-16-2015 12:33 PM
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