Being questioned by the police is not a situation anyone would want to be in or one that anyone would envy seeing someone else enduring. Part of the job of a police officer is to gather evidence when they have probable cause and reasonable suspicion that a crime took place. Even if a crime did occur, if the police do not have grounds to take evidence or to question a person, what they uncover may not be admissible in court. As a result, the person who is arrested may have their case dismissed.
The police have many responsibilities and privileges that come with their position. But they also have protocols that must be followed to do their job. When they violate those guidelines, they can be held accountable to the person who was on the receiving end of their misconduct. This individual may be able to avoid criminal punishment as a result of errors in judgment by the authorities. Having an attorney who thoroughly understands the law and knows where to look to identify violations by the authorities can protect your rights and keep you out of jail.
Different Type of Questioning Categories Explained
The police can question you when they believe that you are implicit in committing a crime. Still, this does not mean that you have to answer their questions. It also does not mean that you are not permitted to have effective legal counsel with you when they attempt to interrogate you.
The three lawful situations in which you can be questioned by law enforcement include:
- You can voluntarily go into the police station or decide you will speak to the police at another location, like your home, for example. When you voluntarily speak with the police about an incident, you are not obligated to stay or continue for any amount of time. Once you are ready for the questioning to be over, you can end it. During a voluntary questioning session, the police officer may not search you.
- If you have been put in investigative detention an officer has the ability to search you. Also, you do not decide when the session is over. But, the law does not recognize the legality of using investigative detention to last for an unreasonable amount of time. In most instances that are lawful, what is considered a reasonable amount of time should be about 30 minutes at the most.
- When you are arrested this is the most restrictive and aggressive form of a questioning session that you may face. Law enforcement has many more rights and power after an arrest while you have the least amount. You can be searched, you must provide a valid legal form of identification, and you may be subject to time behind bars.
Speak with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Working with a San Diego criminal defense attorney once you know you are the subject of a police interrogation improves your ability to safeguard your rights and freedoms. Your attorney will know how to manage hostile police officers attempting to throw their weight and position around to intimidate you and get you to self-incriminate.
If the police want to question you or if you have been arrested in San Diego, the San Diego County criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Boertje can provide you with sound legal representation to protect your interests. Please call the Law Offices of David M. Boertje today to schedule a free, initial consultation at (619) 229-1870 for the San Diego office or (760) 476-0901 for the Carlsbad location.