What You Need to Know if Police Contact You
Contacted by a Detective in Monmouth County, NJ?
Have you been contacted by a detective in Monmouth County or elsewhere in New Jersey? Asked to come down to the precinct and speak to them one-on-one? If so, you are not alone and we strongly urge you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible prior to going down. Being contacted, especially out of the blue, by a detective can be very intimidating and unsettling, even to someone who is familiar with the criminal justice system. At Proetta & Oliver we fully believe that understanding your rights, prior to agreeing to go down to a precinct for questioning, is absolutely crucial. If you would like to discuss your legal options with one of the Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys at our firm, please contact our Middletown Office at 732-858-6959 or you contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
Can I Be Forced to go to the Precinct for Questioning?
No, the Fifth Amendment of the United State Constitution protects individuals from being compelled to give testimony (statements) that may be incriminating. Therefore, it is well within your rights to decline a detective’s wishes to come down to the precinct to speak to them. However, if the police further advise an individual that formal charges have already been filed against them, then they would be required to surrender themselves. With that being said, the individual still have the right to remain silent and decline giving a statement, regardless of the fact that they have been charged with a crime.
Do Police Have to Read me my Miranda Rights before Questioning?
Yes and no. If an individual have been taken into custody and subjected to what amounts to an interrogation, then the police must advise them of their Miranda Rights prior to conducting said interrogation. If the police fail to do so, that statement more likely than not will be inadmissible in court. However, it is important to remember that giving a statement does not automatically trigger Miranda and that the police are well within their rights to ask preliminary questions prior to conducting a formal interrogation, provided the individual is not in police custody. So, in other words, Miranda Rights are triggered when an individual is in police custody and thus not free to leave, and if they are being subjected to what amounts to an interrogation.
Do I have the Right to Know What the Police Want to Question me About?
No. In fact, more often than not, a detective will be very evasive on the phone when they are seeking to have a individual report to the precinct for questioning. Tactics such as “we just want to ask you a few questions” or “we just want to hear your side” are typically used to convince the individual to come down to department headquarters. Detectives usually hope that a suspect will agree to come in and make some form of an admission that will help bolster their case and at times, even give them the evidence they need to formally charge someone. These are just a few of the many reasons that if you or a loved one finds themselves in this type of situation, that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney prior going to the precinct. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess the situation and even reach out to the detective in an effort to make a strategic decision about whether to give a statement or not.
What if Police Come to my House and Take a Loved One in for Questioning?
Sometimes detectives will come to an individual’s house or place of employment and request face to face that they come down to the precinct for questioning. Provided that the individual is not formally charged with a crime, they have the right to refuse. However, if they agree to go down to the station, we strongly urge that you contact an attorney immediately and make sure they have proper representation prior to giving a formal statement. Remember, anything you say becomes part of the record. Speaking with an attorney before answering or commenting is a safer alternative than attempting to provide a statement without knowledge of your legal rights and obligations.
Common Crimes that Detectives Contact Individuals About
By far one of the most common types of offenses that we see detectives reaching out to potential suspect’s on, in an effort to get them to come down and give a formal statement, are sex crimes. Those offenses include but are not limited to criminal sexual contact, lewdness, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and luring. Some of the other crimes that may prompt police questioning include aggravated assault, theft by deception, theft of movable property, burglary, stalking and terroristic threats. Considering that many of these charges involve what amounts to “he said, she said” and often few to no witnesses, it logically follows that police seek statements from the suspect to support their case.
Monmouth County Police Contacted Me, Now What?
Giving a formal statement can be absolutely devastating when it comes to mounting a successful defense. When uncertain about whether a case may be brought against you, it is highly advisable to contact an attorney as soon as possible and at the very least discuss your options. If you have been contacted by a detective in Monmouth County, from towns like Holmdel, Howell, Tinton Falls, Belmar, Hazlet, Freehold, Wall Township, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Ocean Township or elsewhere, Proetta & Oliver can help. We are a Monmouth County based criminal defense firm comprised of attorneys who have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes in New Jersey. Our office is located in Middletown, right across the street from the Middletown Municipal Court, and if you would like to set up a free initial consultation today, call 732-858-6959. A knowledgeable Monmouth County defense lawyer is available immediately to assist you.