Common Questions: Enduring Questioning by Law Enforcement

Law enforcement may ask to speak with you for a variety of reasons. They may ask you to come by the station to answer a few questions. Or, they may want to question you after you have been arrested. Whether or not to contact a lawyer can be a tough call to make, however, by working with one, you can ensure that you do not say anything that could implicate you in the crime they may be investigating. The following are some questions that may come up when law enforcement wants to question you:  

Why would law enforcement wish to question me?

If police reach out wanting to ask you some questions, you may be wondering why. In some cases, it could be concerning an active investigation that may be underway. If you are a suspect of an investigation, they may be looking to gather further information from you. Or, you may have been served an arrest warrant and taken into custody. Regardless, being questioned by law enforcement, even if you are innocent, can be nerve-wracking. While, in some cases, it may seem harmless to speak with police, remember that they are looking to gather information for their investigation. In some cases, you put yourself at risk for incriminating yourself. 

What should I do if law enforcement wants to question me? 

One of the first steps to take if law enforcement wants to question you is to seek the counsel of a criminal defense lawyer. They can review your specific situation and determine whether you should engage in police questioning without the presence of a lawyer. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to have a lawyer accompany you to the station for questioning. 

If I have been arrested, will I be detained for longer if I ask to speak with my lawyer before answering questions?

It’s possible that it could take longer, for several reasons. For starters, you may not be able to make your one phone call right away. You may also need to wait for your lawyer to arrive. Sometimes, they may not be available to get to the station immediately. This could result in you being detained for longer. Keep in mind that you have been arrested; it could be in your best interest to wait for your lawyer. They can protect you from saying anything that could be more damaging to your case. 

Am I able to remain silent?

Invoking your right to remain silent is your right under the Fifth Amendment. You can certainly wait to speak with your lawyer before sharing anything with law enforcement. However, be aware that there are certain pieces of information that you must provide to law enforcement, such as your name and even your driver’s license if you are pulled over in a traffic stop. 

Could speaking with law enforcement be damaging to my case?

If you are a suspect in a crime, the answer is yes, speaking with law enforcement can be damaging to your case. Law enforcement are trained in interrogation and can get you to share information that you didn’t even realize could be damaging to your situation. To truly ensure that your rights are protected, it’s essential to speak with a criminal defense lawyer, like one of the criminal lawyers in Elizabeth, NJ from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. 

Enduring questioning by law enforcement can be a bit nerve-wracking for anyone. The last thing you want is to say something that could make matters worse. Take the right steps towards protecting yourself and your rights by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer for the help you deserve.