Police questioning can be frightening, especially if they suspect you committed a crime.
As a result, you might feel the need to comply with their request to talk. You might even feel compelled to tell your side of the story.
If so, rest assured that they will gladly listen. Police routinely continue to press you for more information until you relent—or invoke your right to remain silent.
Nothing good ever comes from talking with the police when they suspect you’re connected to a crime.
Contrary to popular belief, it is rarely possible to talk your way out of charges, and by talking, you might give the police enough information to help convict yourself.
Instead, you should abide by one simple rule: Never speak to police without talking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer first.
Consulting a knowledgeable Nebraska criminal defense attorney will help ensure that the police honor your rights. It will also help you avoid making a mistake that could cost you your freedom.
Why Do the Police Want to Question Me?
Police try to talk to as many people as possible when investigating a crime. They need to get as much information about the crime as possible. One of the people they talk to is the person they suspect committed the crime they’re investigating.
Deceives often go through extensive interview training to learn the best techniques to elicit information from people they interview.
They also learn how to break a suspect down so they’ll confess. In pursuit of a confession or relevant information, detectives will often try several interview techniques.
You may have heard the term “good cop, bad cop.”
Well, it’s a tried and true method of interrogation still in use today. Therefore, you’ll often find that one cop will yell at you while others play the role of a friendly person who’s lending a sympathetic ear.
The “good cop” will often try to make you feel as if they are your friend by saying:
- You’ll feel better if you just tell us what happened;
- Go ahead and get it off your chest;
- We don’t think you are a bad person;
- We understand that you just made a mistake; and
- If you tell us the truth, we can make this go easier for you.
Do not fall for any of these tactics. The truth is, they are trying to make an arrest and get a conviction. One thing is always true: they will use anything you say against you if they think it’ll help them make their case.
The police might put pressure on you in other ways. They might tell you they are going to investigate family members or friends if you don’t tell them what happened.
They might tell you that you can keep your family out of trouble if you talk to them. Regardless of which pressure tactics they employ, you should always invoke your right to remain silent and politely ask for your attorney.
Then, stop talking unless and until your attorney advises you otherwise.
What Should You Do if the Police Call You in for Questioning?
Call an experienced Omaha criminal defense lawyer right away if the police call you in for questioning.
Getting a knowledgeable attorney involved as soon as possible can help you avoid incriminating yourself. Additionally, a skilled attorney might be able to help you avoid charges altogether.
What are the Three Guidelines for Police Questioning?
By now, everyone probably knows the Miranda warnings.
- You have the right to remain silent;
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in court; and
- You have the right to an attorney during questioning.
You also have the right to a free attorney during questioning if you cannot afford one. The officer may advise you that you have the right to terminate questioning at any time.
Our constitution requires police officers to advise a suspect of their Miranda warnings when they are in custody and facing interrogation.
If those two conditions are not met, then the police have no obligation to “read you your rights,” but they can still use whatever you say to them against you or someone else.
The police have to honor your request to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during questioning. But you need to be firm when you refuse to answer questions and ask for a lawyer.
If you sound like you’re unsure, the police can keep going. Therefore, you must assert your rights clearly. Be polite but unequivocal.
If they continue questioning you after you firmly invoke your right to remain silent and ask for your lawyer, whatever you say may be thrown out of court.
How Long Can Police Hold You for Questioning?
Officers can hold you for no longer than 72 hours in Nebraska without filing charges against you.
If they don’t have enough evidence to charge you, they must release you after 72 hours. But be advised that they will likely use this time period to try to get you to talk and incriminate yourself.
What Should You Do if You’re Wanted for Questioning, but There’s No Warrant?
You do not have to talk to the police, except in one circumstance.
Nebraska law allows officers to ask you your name and address and explain what you’re doing. However, the officer must reasonably believe that you have committed a crime, are in the process of committing a crime, or are about to commit a crime.
This law only applies when people are in public. You do not have to answer any further questions, and you can simply walk away.
Moreover, if you’re not under arrest, you do not have to voluntarily go to the police station for an interview. If the police insist they want to speak to you, call your lawyer.
Call an Aggressive Nebraska Defense Attorney Before Police Questioning
Nebraska defense lawyer Tom Petersen is available to take your call 24/7 if you need help because the police want to question you.
Call Tom at 402-509-8070 if the police arrest you or ask you to come in for questioning.
Tom has been fighting for people charged with crimes in Nebraska for almost 30 years. He doesn’t judge, and he doesn’t lecture—he defends.
Get the advice you need right away by contacting Petersen Criminal Law today.
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