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Your Rights During Police Questioning

Posted by Dominick R. Dolci | May 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

What to do When Questioned by Police

It is important to note the police can get around the right to be silent by telling a person he is not under arrest.  If a person is not under arrest, the police are not required to read the Miranda rights.  The police can simply ask a person for information. Without hearing those rights, someone might start answering the questions from the police and might even provide some self-incriminating evidence.  Once the police have the information they need, THEN they may place the person under arrest.

Every person has the right to be accompanied by an attorney before answering questions from the police,  although you do NOT have to be advised of that right until after you are officially arrested. If a person is brought in for questioning, and has not been charged, it is still wise for that person to be accompanied by an attorney who will know how to protect his client from saying anything that be used later against him in court.

The Police are Allowed to Lie to You

Under various circumstances the police are allowed to lie to you. For example, they can tell you that a co-conspirator has confessed or that they have a witness or other evidence against you that you do not have. The best way to prevent someone from manipulating you into saying something that may later be used against you (no matter how harmless you may think the information may be) is to only answer questions when a criminal defense attorney is there to protect you.

Police Question You to Gather Evidence

If you insist on not having criminal defense attorney with you when giving a statement to the police (again extremely un-advisable) DO NOT let the police officer write your statement for you or get you to sign the officer's version of what you have just said.

The person questioning you knows exactly what they need you to say to best support a conviction and will surely have a purpose behind each and every question, despite how harmless or meaningless it seems when asked and will write the statement so that it touches on every element of the criminal charges that it can.

Moreover the officer may misinterpret what you have said ever so slightly that when you read the statement it seems close enough to what occurred or was said that you nonetheless sign it. This can happen to even the most intelligent person regardless of guilt or innocence. There is absolutely no requirement to put your statement in writing or that you sign someone else's notes about your conversation; you should NEVER sign anything without an attorney reviewing it before hand.

What to do if the Police are at Your Door

Call Dolci & Weiland to be connected with a top Chicago criminal defense attorney. Do not let the police in without a warrant, and do not answer any questions until your attorney is with you.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: RIGHTS OF ACCUSED 725 ILCS 5/103-1

About the Author

Dominick R. Dolci

Managing Partner Dominick R. Dolci focuses his practice on criminal defense litigation and civil litigation. Dom graduated from John Marshall law school in 1990. He began his legal training in the Cook County States Attorneys Office where he worked at 26th and California. He then transferred ...

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