If I was questioned and detained by police but was not arrested and released, can charges still be brought against me?

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, charges can be brought against even if you were not arrested following the initial questioning an detention. Being released after being quested and detained merely means that at that time, the police did not believe there was sufficient evidence of a crime to hold or charge you. However, that is not at all  the same thing as being found not guilty of some charge, in that it does not preclude or limit charges from being brought against you later. So, for example, if after doing more investigation, talking to more witnesses, etc., the authorities believe that yes, you may have committed a crime, they can charge you then. If you are charged, definitely retain a criminal defense attorney; it would probably be a good idea, if you are simply a potential "person of interest" in an investigation, to consult with one anyway.

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