Realizing that you are part of a criminal investigation is an intimidating
prospect. Most often, this occurs in the form of a direct questioning
from detectives or officers. Whether this happens on your front porch,
at a police station, or during a traffic stop, there are some key factors
to keep in mind during this process to protect yourself.
If you have been approached by the police for questioning, then it is extremely
important how you conduct yourself. In many cases, citizens will want
to be accommodating to officers simply to avoid looking suspicious. However,
it is important to remember that you have rights in this situation and
being aware, informed, and cautious is always recommended.
If you are being questioned, it is recommended that:
- You find out what particular agency the investigators are with
- Ask the names and ID numbers of the officers questioning you
Contact an attorney before committing to any statement regarding the incident
It doesn't matter if you are in custody or not, it is perfectly reasonable
to exercise your right to speak with an attorney before further speaking
to police. Remember, no matter how friendly the police might seem, they
are trying to identify suspects. Even if you are completely innocent,
attempts to "explain yourself" are more likely increase suspicion
than politely saying you would be more comfortable speaking to an attorney
before giving any statement.
When law enforcement comes to your home or stops your vehicle, they may
make attempts to search your property. They can legally do this under
three conditions: if they have probable cause, if they have a court order
(warrant), or if a citizen gives them permission. Officers may say seemingly
innocuous things like "do you mind if we come in?" or "do
you mind popping the trunk for us?" This is them trying to obtain
consent to search. If they have probable cause, these statements will
not be in the form of a question.
It is your Fourth Amendment right to not be subjected to unreasonable searches
and seizures. If an officer asks permission to enter your home or search
your property, remember that it is within your rights to ask for a warrant
or, if they do not have one, to decline.
Have more questions? Speak to an attorney today. At
The Law Office of Jason Luong, PLLC, Attorney Luong is an award-winning prosecutor who can assist clients
even before a criminal charge has been filed against them. It is possible
to navigate this uncertain time—do it with a proven and experienced
advocate by your side.
Contact our firm today to schedule a
free case evaluation.