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?

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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

Answers:

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.


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