If The Police Suspect Me Of A Crime Will They Arrest Me
It depends. If the crime is minor, you might be charged without being arrested if you tell the truth about who you are, and the police believe that:
- you will not destroy evidence,
- you will not repeat the offence, and
- you will go to court as required.
And for some minor crimes, you might not even be charged. Instead, you might have to go to what’s called a “judicial referral hearing” where a judge decides whether any action needs to be taken. For example,if your crime was failing to follow conditions of your release from detention, the judge can decide to change the conditions.
If the crime is serious, you will be arrested. To find out whether the police are arresting you, you can ask them politely, “Am I under arrest?” If you are, you can ask them why.
Later, the police might release you from the police station. They could ask you to agree to certain conditions before letting you go. Or you might be kept in police custody and then taken to court, usually within24 hours of your arrest.
At the court, you will be given your first opportunity for a bail hearing. At this hearing, a judge or justice of the peace will decide if you should be detained until your trial is over. Or, they may order that you be released,and on what terms and conditions.
What Should I Do If The Police Call Me And Want To Talk
July 21, 2014
Most people look to hire a lawyer after they have been arrested and charged with a crime.
But if you are being investigated for a crime, having a lawyer can sometimes prevent you from ever being charged with a crime at all.
This can happen in situations where police are conducting an investigation into a possible crime. I regularly get calls from people when the police are investigating charges like hit and run, OUI, theft, or other charges.
The police will often call you or stop by your home if they get a call from a witness who wrote down a license plate, they claim was involved in a crime, and you are the owner of the vehicle suspected of being involved.
It can also happen if you are known to the police, perhaps from a prior offense or complaint report, and they are investigating similar or related crimes. Ive had this happen with clients involved in some sex offense cases.
Give Me Some Top Tips When Im Being Questioned By A Police Officer
- always keep a clear head
- stay polite
- do not swear or insult the officer
- Although your legal rights are important, being cheeky or smart when being questioned or searched will usually not be in your best interests
- Do not try to stop, or resist an officer if he or she has the authority to search you. You can get arrested for obstruction if you try to prevent the search.
Questions to ask:
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Police Entry Into A Home The Feeney Warrant
For nearly two decades now, it has been established that prior to entering an individuals home to make an arrest officers must obtain a specialized warrant known as a Feeney warrant. This is required due to the significantly increased privacy interests associated with an individuals home.
Once a Feeney warrant is obtained, the police must announce their presence , identify themselves as police officers, and outline their purpose for attending at the residence . Before forcing entry into a home the police should, at the minimum, request admission and have admission denied thereby allowing the resident to potentially consent to the entry.
If the police arrive at your door with a Feeney warrant, you are legally obligated to allow them into your home however, you are not required to assist them in searching your home in any way, shape or form. If you think the Feeney warrant may have been improperly obtained, do not argue with the police on the scene or attempt to prevent them from entering but contact a lawyer immediately.
The requirement for police officers to obtain a Feeney warrant, however, is not without qualification. Exceptions exist both according to statutory authority, at common law and, of course, where an individual with the authority to permit entry to a home provides full and informed consent.
We Attend The Surrender
Beforehand, Ill explain the following:
What you should bring with you
What happens when the detective processes you
How long youll have to wait until the arrangement
What our plan of action will be at the arraignment
Where youll be held until the arraignment
How you can get in touch with me if you need me
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Police Powers To Take Photographs In Custody
If you’ve been arrested or are detained under suspicion of having committed a crime for which you could be put in prison, the police have the power to take photographs of you. They will take standard photographs known as ‘mug shots’.
If you’re released without being charged, or the charge against you is dropped, or you’re found not guilty by a court, then the photographs will be destroyed by the police. If you’re charged, the photographs will be kept until you go to court. If you’re found guilty, the photographs will be kept with your criminal record.
If You’re Released But Rearrested
The custody clock stops when you’re released and starts again if you’re rearrested for the same offence. You can only be held, without being charged, for the remainder of the 12 hour period.
If you’re taken to hospital for medical treatment, the clock stops while you’re in hospital, unless the police interview you at the hospital or travelling to or from the hospital.
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But What If The Police Are Threatening Me With More Charges If I Dont Talk
They do that sometimes. And it is legitimately scary.
You still shouldnt talk to them.
I had a client who was being accused of leaving the scene of an accident. The officer left a message that said: If you dont talk to me, I will have to also charge you with malicious destruction of property for damage caused in the accident.
This is almost certainly a bluff and a tactic.
I can completely understand why ignoring the police and hoping the extra charge doesnt happen sounds like a terrible legal strategy. But in some cases, thats exactly the best plan if youve got a lawyer representing you.
Most of the time, they are threatening you because they dont have enough to charge you with, and thats the easiest way for them to gather evidence. Dont help them.
In drug cases, there are also situations where the police may be trying to threaten you into becoming a drug informant. That can be dangerous, and is also very often not in your best interest.
Identification Parades In Custody
If you have not been arrested you do not have to take part in an identification parade, but might be asked to do so voluntarily. You should get advice from a solicitor before agreeing to take part.
If you have been arrested, the police have the power to make you take part in an identification parade. You have the right to have a solicitor present. You might have to be filmed to provide a picture for a virtual identification parade.
There are certain safeguards for the conduct of identification parades:
- the parade should be conducted by a police officer who isn’t connected with the investigation of the crime. The police officer in charge of the case under investigation might be present, but should take no part in the parade
- the other people in the parade or line up should look broadly similar to you in terms of sex, age, height, dress and general appearance
- you’re allowed to choose where to stand in the parade and may change position after viewing by each witness
- there should be at least 6 people in a parade
- you have the right to object to the composition of the parade, and any objection should be noted by the police officer in charge. You must not interfere with the conduct of the parade
- any reasonable request which you or your lawyer make beforehand should be allowed.
When there is a vulnerable witness or a child witness they may be allowed to view suspects on a virtual identification parade.
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But I Am Innocent And I Would Like To Clear My Name
Believe it or not, you may not even know if you are innocent of violating some law. You cannot be expected to know all of the laws that are on the books. Weve often heard it said, and it is true, that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law. If the police are asking to talk to you, there is a good possibility that they believe you have broken a law, and they may have evidence to support their belief. However, they dont have to tell you that before or during their interview.
If I Retain A Lawyer Wont This Make Me Look Guilty
No, this is a big misconception. In fact, retaining a criminal lawyer will show the police that you are taking the matter seriously and are willing to cooperate to address the situation. At this point you should be less concerned about looking guilty and more concerned about protecting yourself and your legal rightstheres no better way of doing this than by insulating yourself from the very effective police investigative techniques and following the legal advice of an experienced criminal lawyer.
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Limits To The Cellphone Search Rule
Prosecutors expressed a series of objections to the requirement that officers obtain warrants before searching arrestees’ cellphones. They mentioned “remote wiping,” by which a third party could delete a phone’s data after police officers take it, or by which the data might erase if the phone enters or exits a particular geographic area. They also discussed data encryption, which makes information nearly impossible to get to without a password. They even invoked extreme scenarios, as where a phone has the location of an about-to-explode bomb or a missing child.
First, to the extent that a cellphone might be usable as a weapon, the Supreme Court said that officers can search it without a warrantfor example, they can retrieve a razor blade hidden between the phone and its case. Second, officers can probably take “preventive measures” to avoid the loss of a phone’s data. Without delving into it, they could turn off the phone, place it in a bag that protects against radio waves, or disable its automatic encryption lock, for example. Third, with today’s technology, it may take officers as little as 15 minutes to get a warrant that authorizes a search. And fourth, officers can dig into the phone when there’s an emergency.
Release From Police Custody
In many situations the police will charge and then release you on a promise to appear or an undertaking, which may have certain conditions for you to follow.
If the police give you papers that say you have to go to court at acertain time, you have to go. If you don’t go to court at that time,you can be charged with a crime called failing to appear, and youcan be arrested and put in jail until your trial.
If the police do not agree to release you, they have to arrange for a court appearance called a show cause hearing as soon as possible. Legal aid will provide a lawyer at no cost to assist you with the show cause hearing. At a show cause hearing, the police and Crown prosecutor will tell the judge why they think releasing you may not be a good idea. For example if you have hurt someone, they may be concerned that it is not safe to release you straight away. If the judge decides you should stay in custody, the police will usually bring you to one of the NWT’s correctional centres.
If the judge agrees to release you, there will be conditions set for you to be allowed out of jail. For example, you may have to agree to stay away from a certain person, you may have to live in a certain place or you may have to pay money or bail to the court.
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A Police Officer Has Stopped Me And Is Asking Me Questions While I Am Driving What Should I Do
If youre driving, you have to give the police your name, date of birth and address. If you refuse, you can be arrested.If youre in a car accident, you also have to give them your licence, car registration details, and information about who was driving the car when the accident happened.If the police have reason to believe you have drugs in your car, they can search your car without a warrant.If youre not sure whether theyre a police officer because theyre not in uniform, you can politely ask for their proof of identity.
Ending Custody Being Released Or Charged
Depending on the evidence they have, at the end of the custody period the police might decide to:
- release you – because they no longer suspect you of a crime, or
- release you pending further enquiries – because you’re a suspect but the police need to investigate further, or
- release you with conditions as a suspect – this is called investigative liberation, or
- charge you with a crime and keep you in custody, or
- charge you with a crime but release you to appear at court on a specified date
- charge you with a crime and release youwithout an undertaking to be called to court at a later date.
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Can I Give The Police False Information
It is important to be truthful to the police when supplying your details and statement. Otherwise, they could arrest you for giving false information to them. Giving false information to a police officer is a crime with a maximum prison sentence of up to 3 years. If you dont want to provide the information, remember you have a right to silence.
Do I Have To Tell The Police Anything If They Take Me Into Custody
If youre in custody, you have to give the police your name, address and date of birth. If you dont and are found guilty, the maximum penalty is a fine up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three months.
Apart from these details, you have the right to silence and do not have to answer any other questions. If the police suspect you of committing a crime, it is best to talk to a lawyer before answering any questions. This includes answering questions verbally, in a written statement, or on video.
You are allowed to call a lawyer before answering any questions. The police have a free lawyers list which you can ask for and call.
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Its Simple Do Not Agree To Talk To Police Without A Lawyer
Just dont. If they call you, dont call them back.
If you accidentally pick up the phone or answer the door, and the police are there just say firmly and calmly, I Do Not Wish To Speak To You Without My Lawyer Present. End of conversation. Hang up or close the door.
If you get in a conversation, or any back and forth at all, you are at tremendous risk of saying something incriminating.
And some people simply cant help themselves from confessing. It is understandable. Police are trained at getting people to admit things that are against their interest.
But no matter what you say, anything could be misconstrued, misinterpreted, or otherwise used against you. There is no Miranda in effect if the police are just talking to you, and you arent under arrest. And even then, Miranda does not offer the protections most people think it does.
When Ive had clients that did decide talk to the police, and thought they were being careful and helpful, it still often goes wrong. Police can take what you say out of context, and deliberately or accidentally misunderstand your statement, and turn it around against you.
If you dont talk to the police, they wont have anything they can say about you.
We Attend The Arraignment Together
A number of topics are discussed during the arraignment, but the main purpose is to decide your custody status.
A determination will be made as to whether you will be released on your own recognizance or if the judge will set bail to insure you return to court.
When I make my argument to the judge to ask for you to be released or for low bail to be set, I will discuss the fact that you have strong family/business ties and are therefore unlikely to willfully ignore the courts order that you appear on each court date.
Or I might point out that you havent been arrested before, or that the case is a weak one, or that the financial or physical harm wasnt as great as the prosecutors are making out. Anything that supports our position, Ill use it.
The judge will decide whether to release you on your own recognizance, hold you with no bail or set a cash bail and a bond alternative.
If the judge sets bail, Ill walk you through the procedure of getting it paid either through the court or through a bail bondsman.
It is possible that when a judge agrees to release you, she will do so only if you meet certain conditions.
One condition might be that youre sent for evaluation e.g. for substances, anger management, or mental health issues.
Most courts have an agency that will do the evaluation, but I send all my clients to my own people.
The court might also want to issue an order of protection that will keep you away from the person making the complaint.
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