Is It Mandatory For Someone To Meet With The Police If They Call?

It depends on your comfort level. The police could be lying to you, for example, sometimes they will tell you, “We think you are a witness; you are not a suspect in this case.” It is advisable to have an attorney present because the police do not have to tell you exactly why they want to talk to you. If they get to the point where you may incriminate yourself, they are going to have to read you your Miranda rights. This is typically a big clue that you probably do not want to say anything further, but you may have already said too much.

When clients come to me during the investigative phase of a case, there may be very good reasons to sit down and talk to the police together. I reach out to the investigating officer to try and get a clear understanding of what they want to talk to my client about. If they tell me, great, it makes it easier for me to decide whether my client will consent to an interview or not. It all goes back to the idea that people think that they can help themselves by telling their side of the story, but that officer may not be there to help at all! That officer is trying to build a case, and sometimes the only evidence in a case will be the statements you make.

I am not talking about being difficult with the police if there is no need to do so.  Every case is different, and it is your right to have an attorney present or to consult with an attorney about whether you should talk with the police. I cannot think of a situation where I would not exercise that right. Even as an attorney, I would never have an open conversation with the police where they said, “We just want to talk to you, just a casual conversation.” There is just no reason to do that without consulting with an attorney first. It could be the best decision you make in your case.

The Role Of Miranda Rights In A Criminal Case

Miranda applies if police have you in custody, or if you are detained and you are not free to leave. There are a lot of arguments that occur in cases regarding whether a person was detained, whether they were free to leave. “Detained” does not always have to mean handcuffed in the back of a squad car, “detained” can mean that an officer has told you, “You need to stay here; you can’t go anywhere until we finish talking to you.” Once your ability to leave has been restricted, you may be “detained” in the eyes of the law.   This type of situation is what typically triggers Miranda. Miranda warnings should be read to a suspect so that they know that anything they say going forward could be used against them in a court of law.

When Miranda warnings are read, you are on notice that if you say something incriminating, or if you say something that can hurt your case, it can be used against you in the future. If you feel like your movement is restricted, or you feel like you are unable to leave, it is always fair to ask the officer, “Am I detained right now? Am I free to leave?”

These are examples of questions that are designed to elicit an incriminating response: “Did you do it?  Did you take that?  Did you hurt that person?”  The answers to these questions could ultimately result in charges against you, so they should not be asked without Miranda warnings having been read first.

Alternative Programs For First Time Offenders In Arizona

First time offenders charged with certain types of offenses are going to have a better chance at diversion, especially in misdemeanor cases. Sometimes, in very specific felony cases, there are offers for diversion as well. Diversion is the opportunity for a first time offender to complete consequences in exchange for the dismissal of their case. There are plenty of cases being prosecuted, but there has been a movement to make certain types of cases and individuals eligible for the opportunity to wipe the slate clean again. Oftentimes, I am able to argue for diversion for my clients based on a presentation to the prosecutor about my client’s background and lack of criminal history as well as any potential issues the prosecution may have with its case.

For more information on Common Reaction On Being Arrested, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 456-1982 today.

Jared Allen, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (602) 456-1982.

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