Questions for Criminal Lawyers in Enumclaw
Even if a law enforcement officer does not suspect you of a crime, they can stop you to ask questions, or to search your belongings or your body. If the officer does not tell you that you are legally obligated to give consent to a search or to talk, they are within the confines of the law. Conversely, you are not obligated to answer a law enforcement officer’s questions or to consent to a search, and you have the right to call one of the Criminal Lawyers in Enumclaw. Below you will find the answers to select questions on your rights during police questioning.
Can I Leave While Being Questioned?
Unless there is reasonable suspicion to conduct a brief search (a “frisk”) or probable cause for arrest, you can legally walk away while the police officer is talking. However, it is difficult to tell what information the officer is using as a reason for questioning. Even if you are innocent, the officer could have information providing legal basis for a search or an arrest, and in such a situation, you can be forcibly detained.
Must I be Read the Miranda Warning?
The “Miranda warning” is only necessary if you are in custody and the authorities are planning to interrogate you. This requirement puts you at a disadvantage; if you make a voluntary statement while you’re not in police custody, it can be used against you in court even if the police do not read you your Miranda rights. Criminal Lawyers in Enumclaw can help to protect your rights during and after the interrogation process.
When It’s Beneficial to Talk to the Police
Most police officers are just as ready to clear the innocent as they are to convict someone who is guilty, and you can help to clear your name and find the perpetrator of a crime by answering a few simple questions. For instance, if you offer an alibi and it checks out, you’ve eliminated yourself as a suspect, allowing the police to look elsewhere.
You have certain legal rights during interrogation and police interactions, and you can make your life much simpler by cooperating with the police (as long as you have a legitimate reason to do so). If you need help understanding your legal rights, consult one of the Brian K. Leonard firm’s Criminal Lawyers in Enumclaw.