Should I have a lawyer present if the cops “just want to chat” about a crime that I didn’t commit?

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Should I have a lawyer present if the cops “just want to chat” about a crime that I didn’t commit?

My previous place of employment was recently burglarized. They have pointed me out as a person of interest. The police want me to come talk with them at the station, at my convenience (sounds fishy to me). Should i be worried or concerned?

Asked on May 16, 2012 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Always be concerned when the police tell you that they "just want to chat" because at this point the police are questioning you for investigative purposes. This does not necessarily mean that you are a suspect, or committed a crime, but the statements you make to the officer will be used to determine if you are a suspect, person of interest, or potential witness in a criminal matter. At the point in which the questioning becomes interrogation, in which you feel you are not free to just get up and walk out of the police station or place of questioning, or Miranda Rights have been given, then all statements made by you will be considered voluntary statements or confessions, and can be used against you in the court of law. You are allowed to stop questioning by requesting an attorney and allowed to have an attorney present if you choose.


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