being questioned as a suspect in a murder

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being questioned as a suspect in a murder

My Father has been interrogated for 12 hours about a couple of murders that have recently taken place. He has been summoned for more questioning. Should he have a lawyer present? He doesn’t have any money for one if he does need one. What steps should be taken next? Please help. Thank you

Asked on June 14, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that interrogations must stop if the suspect demands to have an attorney present.  The fact that the suspect can or cannot afford an attorney is not determinative of whether the interrogation will, in fact, stop once the demand is made.  Rather, once the demand is made the interrogation must cease, and if it does not the police risk having any and all evidence obtained from that point forward being suppressed.  If your father continues to subject himself to these interrogations, he risks incriminating himself for murder; however, if your father demands an attorney the police will either arrest him based on probable cause that they already have, or release him.  Either way, it is very unlikely that anything is to be gained by continuing to allow the interrogations to proceed.

Nevertheless, given the seriousness of this matter, it is very important that your father consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney if at all possible.


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