Interview at Police Station

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October 20, 2009

By: Richard Brown

Your Rights, and What to Do During a Police Interrogation

If you are arrested, or under suspicion for having committed a crime, you may find yourself transported, by "friendly gendarmes" to a nearby police station for questioning. You will then, most likely, be wondering what you will be required to do, and whether you must answer any questions at all.

First and foremost, you are entitled to call a lawyer. If you are represented by counsel, the police cannot force you to answer any questions without your attorney present, commonly called Miranda Rights. However, the officer may attempt to engage you in casual conversation, and thereby gain some information from you. You must remember that even if you do not sign a statement or confession, your spoken word can be used against you.

If you do not have an attorney, or don't know who to call, the police will likely begin questioning you. You can also call a friend to come down to the police station to be there with you as a witness while the questioning is taking place, but the friend will not be allowed to say anything or give you advice. The following set of questions will give you a general idea of how the police will go about attempting to gain information. The police may act as a team, with a "bad cop" and "good cop" strategy.

Q. What is your name? Full name? Nickname? Name on Driver's License?

Q. What is your date of birth?

Q. Where do you live?

Q. What you doing on x date and y time?

Q. Where were you going?

Q. Have you ever been arrested before?

If the police found drug paraphernalia, then the line of questioning might be as follows:

Q. Is the marijuana yours?

Q. If not yours, whose is it?

Q. How did it get in your vehicle?

Q. Are you a user? A dealer?

Q. How long have you bee using pot?

If the police are playing good cop/ bad cop, then one of the officers may start to get belligerent and hostile, and ask questions in a more bullying manner. The good cop may appear to be friendlier, but the "good cop" is just as interested in getting useful information or leads from you, so you need to be on your guard. You need an attorney; you cannot assume that the police will be helpful.

If you do not answer any questions, or you start getting belligerent yourself, you need to very careful that you don't then get arrested for obstructing an investigation. You definitely need to keep your wits about you when you are questioned at a police station. Once you ask for a lawyer, the police should immediately stop asking you questions; however, any subsequent voluntary statement or utterance, with or without an attorney present, can also be used against you. Hence, you should not speak to the police if you are a suspect in a criminal investigation without an attorney by your side.

The lawyers at our firm have advised many clients about police interrogations, and are experienced in Connecticut and federal law enforcement investigations, including Miranda rights, self-incrimination, the right to counsel, Any of the attorneys in our Criminal Practice area would be happy to discuss any questions you might have regarding police interrogations in Connecticut.