when a detective calls you --what to do...please advise
you dont have to say you love me I will understand
NOT enough info.
It may be just for info about conduct of OTHERS ... that they might think you saw or know someting about.
OR, worse case, it might be about something they think you did that might have been illegal.
If the latter, you would have right to remain silent or have a lawyer present (once they focus is upon you as a suspect). You have the constitutional right not to have so say anything that might get you convicted of a crime. (5th Amendment to "remain silent"). But, that is only if its about matters that could result in you being charged with a crime ... not if you were only a witness or have info they might want but are NOT the object of the investigation or at risk of getting yourself arrested if you answer their questions.
IF IN DOUBT, best you talk to a lawyer BEFORE you talk to the detective.
If it is a detective with the local police, it is best to contact an attorney for advice. Generally one should know that police investigators can lie to you in the hopes of getting you to confess ("your accomplice has confessed and said you did it - any comments"). Resist the temptation to "clear yourself". It is better to remember your Miranda rights ("your have the right to remain silent, to have an attorney present during questioning, etc."). They might initially question you as a witness (no Miranda rights given) but when you say something incriminating then its too late. Then they will read you your Miranda rights immediately before or after handcuffing you and taking you for booking.
If it is a private detective, ask him what the call is about. Perhaps say you will think about talking to him and take his name and number. You can do this with the local police detective too. Then you have time to think and consult an attorney.
You have Miranda rights for a reason. Police too often misuse what you say by twisting your words, taking them out of context, or simply fabricating what you said. If you say you wish to remain silent and you have no lawyer available as a witness, then they can't claim you said something they made up. With your lawyer as a witness, they can't say you said something you didn't.
Unfortunately, you cannot trust the police detective and he IS ALLOWED TO LIE TO YOU!
It's clear what Linda said ... and I agree with it all ... but she had a typo (i do that too, we all do). So just so nobody gets confused, here is a correction:
"If you say you wish to remain silent and you have no lawyer available as a witness, then they can't <-- she meant they "CAN" claim you said something they made up. With your lawyer as a witness, they can't say you said something you didn't."
A major point from what Linda said is: COPS (and detectives) can and do lie. Not all, but NOT INFREQUENTLY either! When they think an arrest or conviction is "the right thing", some of them will try to help make the case (with some fabrication). That's sad; but it's the reality.
That is a part of the reason the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that everyone charged with a crime MUST be given a WARNING ... your "Miranda Rights" ... as soon as they charge you (or as soon as you become the suspected target of a criminal investigation, in general). That is why you are entitled to an attorney AT THAT POINT.
As far as private detectives go, my attitude with them is there is no reason to feed them information unless you want to help whoever they represent and don't mind giving them your time. You have NO LEGAL OBLIGATIONS to cooperate with private investigators.=========
PS. Linda I do typos too, so feel free to correct any of mine as well. :)
Listen to him, be polite,ask for his ID. Miranda rights only apply if you are charged or otherwise in custody (or if a reasonable person in your situation feels they are not free to leave). Then call a lawyer.
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