If you are being questioned by the police, it is important that you understand
what your rights are and what you should not disclose. Officers have been
known to use numerous methods to solve a crime—don't be a victim
to their tactics. Our
Orange County criminal defense lawyer answers your most frequently asked questions about police interrogations
and questioning. Learning more now can protect you in the future.
When do police officers need a warrant to arrest someone?
Police need probable cause in order to arrest someone without a warrant.
For non-serious offenses, the police must obtain a search warrant if the
person is at home and there is not reasonable belief that they will destroy
evidence or be a threat to the public.
The police cannot have a warrant written up for hunches. The warrant must
clearly establish what crime was committed and the person that committed
Do I have to answer questions if the police randomly stop me?
Police can stop an individual if they have reason to believe that the individual
has been involved with the crime, however, that person does not have to
answer any questions asked. Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right
The only thing you are required to disclose by law is your name. If an officer begins to question you about a crime, you do not have to
respond beyond telling them your name.
When are Miranda Rights supposed to be read?
There is a common misconception that if the police do not recite to you the
Miranda warnings during your arrest or before questioning, you can have your case dismissed.
The Miranda Rights are simply a reminder of an individual's rights
when dealing with law enforcement and the legal system. Not reciting them
does not equate to a slip-up from the police.
If the police wish to use spoken or self-incriminating evidence during
the trial, they must give Miranda warnings before questioning an individual.
Additionally, any extra evidence that is acquired as a result of an interrogation
without the Miranda warnings can also not be used in the trial.
I agreed to police questioning, can I still change my mind?
Yes. Within the Miranda warnings, it is stated that you have the right
to stop an interrogation. Even if you have waved your right to remain
silent already, at any time you can refuse to answer any more questions,
request an attorney, and remain silent.
What kinds of tactics do police use when questioning someone?
The police cannot use certain physical or psychological tactics in order
to get information during an interrogation. For example, they cannot torture,
drug, or use inhumane tactics in order to get information. They also cannot
make an individual think that they have no other choice than to tell the
police what they want to hear.
Even though there are some tactics that are not used by the police, other
methods, such as lying and trickery, are used regularly. That is why it
is imperative to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney
and remain silent until you do so. Typically, officers use the Reid Technique
to extract information or get confessions.
The Reid Technique is conducted through three main concepts:
Isolation. Officers use the feeling of being alone to their advantage. They will
separate a suspect from their family, friends, and support. Interrogation
rooms will also often have no windows in order to isolate the suspect
Maximization. Also known as the "bad cop" portion, maximization usually starts
with the officer telling the suspect that he or she is guilty. If the
suspect claims to be innocent, the officer will disregard this and continue
to tell them they are guilty. The officer may even construct a story for
how and why the crimes was committed.
Minimization. When the suspect has heard that they will not be found innocent, the "good
cop" portion begins. The officer tells the client that they understand
and if the suspect confesses they might feel better or even get a lesser
charge. However, they could also claim that if the suspect does not confess,
they will remain in custody for a long time.
Do the police need my permission to collect hair or blood?
Unfortunately, self-incriminating evidence does not extend to bodily samples.
The police do not need your permission to take hair or blood samples and
use them as evidence in a case.
Have more questions?
Contact The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman today for more answers.