Police questioning

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Police questioning

I have been told that my licence plates were seen in the area of a crime. The police want me to take time off of work to come in and talk with them so I can be “ruled out” as a witness/suspect. Do I have to go or can I refuse here in California??? Thanks in advance

Asked on June 1, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should be very cautious in this situation.  First, remember that you are under no obligation to speak to the police, and you have a right to have legal counsel present if you do wish to speak with them.  While the police may indeed want to "rule you out" as a witness, it is also very possible that they are hoping that you will say something that will incriminate yourself, so as to give them probable cause to arrest you.  Many criminal defense attorneys will allow you to retain them for the purposes of an investigation only.  I highly recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney for this purpose.  Although retaining an attorney for an investigation may cost you some money, it is a wise investment considering the potential consequences if you decide to handle the investigation on your own and end up incriminating yourself and getting arrested and prosecuted.


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