If you are the subject of an active criminal investigation, it is important that you know the specific rights that you have. Not knowing your rights may result in criminal charges being brought against you as a result of revealing information to authorities which strengthens their case. Some people do not understand that their rights extend far beyond the scope of remaining silent. The following are examples of some of the rights you may have.
Decline authorities' requests to search or enter your property.
If you tell officers that you do not want them to search your vehicle or any other type of property you own, they cannot proceed with a search unless they obtain a search warrant. Be mindful of seemingly "nice" detectives or investigators who may attempt to gain your trust by telling you that they would just like to enter your property to speak with you.
This is because if you have any incriminating evidence visible, it could make it easy for them to call in a request for a search warrant, which will give them full access to your property. This applies even if the purported evidence is a misunderstanding. For example, if a person is suspected of a stabbing and a knife is located in a nearby sink during a conversation with a suspect, a detective could infer that the knife is linked to the stabbing.
Refuse to stay in an interrogation.
You may be like a number of other people who decide to talk to authorities because you do not have anything to hide. The issue with doing this is that sometimes detectives misconstrue the words of suspects, and this can result in incriminating circumstances.
It is best to have a lawyer present during any type of police questioning, but if you find yourself talking to someone in law enforcement and they start asking questions that make you uncomfortable, you are permitted to stop and leave the interrogation. If you are not under arrest, you can leave the location where the interrogation is taking place. If that place happens to be your home or business, the officers must leave if they do not have a warrant. Individuals in custody can stop interrogations by evoking their 5th amendment rights, and authorities are legally required to return them to confinement and stop interrogating them.
A criminal defense attorney is the best resource to use if authorities want to engage in any type of questioning or conversations with you. They are are also the best line of defense against any pending or future charges you may face. For more information, visit a local lawyer, such as Damiani Gerard M.
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