What to do if I was fired last year for suspicion of theft of blank money orders that had the receipts attached and now the police want to question me?

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What to do if I was fired last year for suspicion of theft of blank money orders that had the receipts attached and now the police want to question me?

The police never contacted me until they sent me a letter this month stating that they want to to do a formal interview or a warrant will possibly be issued for me. I have nothing to hide but the employer is shady and I don’t want my statement to be taken out of context. I don’t have money for an attorney, should I speak with them or use my 5th admendment right? I can’t afford to get a warrant. Is that just a threat?

Asked on February 26, 2014 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, it's most likely not just a threat: IF the police believe they have sufficient evidence to get a warrant, then if you do not speak to them, they will do so--that's how  they get people reluctant to talk to them to do so. Do NOT speak with them without an attorney, and DO hire a lawyer for this purpose--while lawyers obviously do cost money, a lawyer can mean the difference between jail time or not. The problem for you is, if you speak to them without a lawyer, you may well say something they can use against you; and while invoking your right against self-incrimination (the 5th Amendment right) will prevent that, it will not prevent the police from looking for other witnesses or evidence to show that you committed a crime--and will probably make them dig harder, because they'll assume you have something to hide.


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