What should I do if the police want to interview me?

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What should I do if the police want to interview me?

I found a prepaid credit card outside on the ground with no name and no signature on it. I used it a few times to buy gas when I was super strapped for money. A police offer contacted me and I am being asked to come in to be interviewed because my name came up in an investigation. I am assuming it has something to do with this. What could I be looking at getting charged with? What should I do in this interview? Should I say nothing? Should I tell them everything? How serious of an offense is this as far as possible punishments?

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under no circumstances speak with the police without having an attorney present. You are under no obligation to go in (even if the police come to your home to question you, you do not need to speak with them. The fact is that you could inadvertently say something incriminating about yourself regarding this incident. You need to be aware that questioning you without your having an attorney with you is to their benefit. If they can, they will try and get you to implicate yourself. So no matter how friendly they may appear ("We only want to ask a few questions"; "We just want to get your side of the story", etc), or conversely, no matter how intimidating and threatening they seem ("It would be in your best interests to speak with us") -  do not speak with them without your lawyer present. 


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