Can an officer arrest somebody and tell them who the anonymous caller that “turned” them in was?

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Can an officer arrest somebody and tell them who the anonymous caller that “turned” them in was?

Somebody made an anonymous call from my phone and the officer told the girl getting arrested that it was me. It wasn’t. The officer said it didn’t matter. That now I have to be a witness because it was my phone. How can they force to be a witness when I’m not involved?

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

They can force you to be a witness, by serving you with a subpoena, which is a court order that requires you to appear at the trial.  If you don't show up, you can be arrested, and given jail time and a fine for contempt of court.

However, you'll be under oath, when you take the stand (if it gets that far, which I doubt), and you'll be legally obligated to tell the truth.  And if you didn't make the call, and you didn't witness the alleged crime, you say so, and in the same way, you'll give honest answers to each question that's asked of you.  And if the prosecutor trying the case is upset about your answers, if he or she didn't bother to review your testimony before calling you at trial, it's his or her own stupid fault.


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