What should I do if a detective wants to talk to me regarding theft allegations made by a person who I house/dog sat for?

I was there about 4 weeks ago. Last weekend the wife told a mutual friend that I had stolen from them while there. She didn’t claim an amount and said it had to be me because I “was the only person who had been there”. I tried to put it out of mind, but today a detective called and asked if I would speak to him. When I asked what it was about he said it was “regarding some allegations made against you”. I assume it’s the couple I previously mentioned.

Asked on November 5, 2014 under Criminal Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The detective cannot compel you to talk to him--though if he or she believes there is enough evidence against, you could be arrested, of course. Even after being arrested, however, you can refuse to speak to the authorities (your "right to remain silent," or "taking the Fifth," as it is  often called in movies and on TV). If the police are interested in you, you should retain a criminal defense attorney, discuss the situation confidentially (the attorney-client privelege--the attorney cannot tell anyone what the client told him, unless 1) the client OKs it, or 2) it's necesary to disclose to prevent a future crime or harm) with the lawyer, then follow the lawyer's advice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.