Do I have to submit to fingerprinting for automobile vandalism on my ex’s vehicle?

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Do I have to submit to fingerprinting for automobile vandalism on my ex’s vehicle?

My ex’s vehicle was vandalized and the police have asked me to go in for fingerprinting to “eliminate” suspects. I don’t know what it would eliminate. I’ve been in, on, and anywhere else imaginable with his vehicles. The officer told me that if I don’t go in they’ll get a search warrant and take me from work and everything. Can they do that? Do I have to go in?

Asked on August 3, 2011 New Mexico

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under no circumstances should you go in for fingerprinting or speak with the police without an attorney present.  You are under no obligation to do so (unless they have an actual warrant).  You do not have to voluntarily put yourself in a position to incriminate yourself. In fact, even if the police come to your home to question you about this case, you do not need to speak with them. 

Getting you to come in, at least without an attorney, is to their benefit. They will only try and get you to implicate yourself.  No matter how low friendly they may appear, or conversely, no matter how intimidating they seem - do go down to the police station without a lawyer.  

At this point you should consult directly on the matter with a criminal law attorney in your area. 


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