Am I required to speak with an investigator prior to charges being filed against me? 50 Answers as of August 31, 2011

After a police report has been written, is there a requirement to speak with and investigator prior to pressing charges?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
Nobody ever has to talk to the police. However, each case is different and it may or may not be in your best interest to speak with the police. Consult with a criminal lawyer and explain the details of your case to him and he should be able to guide you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Absolutely not. You have no obligation to talk to the police or any law enforcement agency at any time or for any reason. Furthermore if it is a federal agent and you give a statement that is deemed to be false that is a crime itself. If you are charged with a crime or about to be it is best to consult a good criminal defense attorney before taking any action on your own.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
You should never talk to the police or fill out any forms for an insurance company about an accident until you consult an attorney. You do not know what to say or what your rights are and the police are allowed to threaten you, lie to you, trick you, or make promises that they do not intend to keep. They are interested in getting a confession and finding evidence to convict the guilty party. Whether you are guilty or not you should still let an attorney handle the matter.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/21/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Absolutely not, and you should NOT talk to an investigator without an attorney being present. Even though there is not yet a case against you, an attorney can help 1) protect you from further investigation, 2) run damage control on what has happened so far, 3) intercept at the prosecutor's office and try to talk with them before they receive the police report, and 4) start building defenses early. If you believe charges are coming, you should talk to an attorney asap! If you have further questions, feel free to call my office. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/21/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
No, you are not required to speak with an investigator prior to charges being filed. Its called exercising your right not to incriminate yourself. Make them prove their case against you. If they cannot prove their case without you, then they do not have a case. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/17/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    NO!

    Let me repeat that NO!

    If you are under investigation, you should know one thing, the investigator is not there to clear your name. They are never there to help you or to clear your name. The investigator wants to close the case, and if that means getting you to confess, admit to something, or just get information from you that can be used against you later, that is what he or she will do. The Constitution of the United States says you do not have to say anything that may incriminate you. You are not required to cooperate with police investigations. You cannot willfully impede the investigation either, but you do not have to participate. Simply put, if the investigator calls you, simply tell him or her you will not talk without a lawyer present. New case law - I and every defense lawyer thinks it is bad law - says that even if you ask for a lawyer or refuse to answer questions without a lawyer, the cops can ask again later and if you start talking, you waive your right to your lawyer for that conversation. ONCE YOU LAWYER UP, STAY SHUT UP UNLESS YOUR LAWYER IS PRESENT. Police are aware of the new case law and they are using it against you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    No. If you are the target, do not speak to any investigator w/o your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    No way! The police can, will, and are legally allowed to lie to you, however. It starts to get questionable if they lie to you about having to speak with them before talking to your lawyer though, but the Courts will not protect you. Do not speak to the police. Demand a lawyer and speak to your lawyer. No, they will not "go easy" on you. No, they will not "put in a good word with the Judge (or D.A.) for you". No, they will not "let you go home". No, you do not care if the Investigator "just needs to finish up this report". Are you kidding me? Some of the ploys they use are so juvenile and transparent, even ludicrous, that it boggles my mind that people fall for them. You have the right to remain silent. Waive it, and you will be sorry.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    You have the right to remain silent at all steps of a criminal investigation. It is advisable to seek counsel to represent you during the investigative phase. That attorney will help you understand and maintain your rights. You should not speak to anyone except your own attorney if you may incriminate yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    You are not required to speak to the investigator, however depending on the facts and circumstances, it may or may not be a good idea to talk to the investigator but you run the risk of incriminating yourself. It also depends on whether you are guilty or not. If you do not talk to the investigator probably charges will be filed against you. If charges are brought you should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    As a general rule, you are never required to answer questions unless summoned to court and sworn under oath. Please feel free to contact our firm at the information provided on this page for a free case evaluation so that we might better assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca
    Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca | Philip De Luca
    No, not at all. You have Constitutional Rights to remain silent and to have Counsel present. Try to hire an attorney to represent you immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Law Office of James S. Robinson
    Law Office of James S. Robinson | James S. Robinson
    This is a great example of why a good lawyer should make that decision with you. Some lawyers have a hard and fast rule never to allow their client to speak with law enforcement. Depending on the facts of the case the answer may be yes or no. I have on many times had investigations stopped due to the explanation given by my client with me at his side. So there are times when the decision should be made only after careful consideration of the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber | Marshall Tauber
    If you are the focus of a police investigation, there is no legal requirement that you speak with the police.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/17/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    No, you are never required to make a statement that can and will be used against you. You may choose to if you think it would help you. My experience is that it very seldom does help you. If you do, you should bring a lawyer with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    No, no no and NO! You have a right to remain silent and that right (like most of your constitutional rights) is a good one. Exercise your right to remain silent when confronted by police questioning. No matter what they threaten or promise you, don't talk to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Avioli Law, P.C.
    Avioli Law, P.C. | Michael Avioli
    No. Hire us immediately. Anything you say will be used against you.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Berlin Law Firm, PLLC
    Berlin Law Firm, PLLC | Lee F. Berlin
    Absolutely not. If you believe charges will be filed and you will be named as a defendant, do not speak with law enforcement before you have retained an attorney. Period. End of discussion.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Law Office of Cotter C. Conway
    Law Office of Cotter C. Conway | Cotter C. Conway
    You are absolutely NOT required to speak with an investigator prior to charges being filed against you. In fact, any criminal defense attorney will tell you never to speak with an investigator when you are the subject of criminal investigation. If there is sufficient evidence to constitute probable cause for an arrest, you will be arrested. If you willingly submit to an interview, you may unwittingly provide the necessary evidence to not only justify your arrest but assist the prosecution in securing a conviction. An investigator only wants to interview a suspect to obtain a confession or other incriminating statements. No suspect will ever talk his way out of an impending arrest. Contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Not only is it not required, it is a horrible decision to make without first speaking to your own lawyer. There may be some times to speak, but unless it can stop charges from being issued, it can only hurt you. Click on the link to the left to call me and discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    No, in fact you should not speak with the investigator about the case *at all*. You should hire an attorney and give the investigator the name and telephone number of the attorney and give the attorney the name and number of the detective.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Office of Tim W. Avery
    Law Office of Tim W. Avery | Tim W. Avery
    No and it is usually best not to speak with one. After you have consulted with an attorney, then a decision may be made to speak with the police investigator if the attorney is of the opinion that it may be beneficial to your case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    The Poster Law Firm, PLLC
    The Poster Law Firm, PLLC | Rick D Poster
    Absolutely not. Please review my website and read the article what to do if being investigated.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    You are not generally required to do so. You should hire an attorney so your attorney can alert the investigator that you are represented and that they should not attempt to speak to you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC
    The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC | John MacDonald Jr.
    No. In fact, if you believe that you are maybe facing charges you should refrain from speaking to anyone but your attorney. If you don't have one you should seek one immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    The ONLY advice you should take is to exercise your 5th Amendment rights to SHUT UP, hire an attorney, and do NOT talk to anyone except your attorney about the case. With ANY crime being investigated, you potentially face charges that could put in jail/prison. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative'. Once charged, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict you, hire an attorney who does. If this is in SoCAL courts, and if you're serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    A version of this question comes up about once every other week. You are not required to speak with an investigator prior to charges being filed against you. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States specifically says that you are not required to say anything that may tend to incriminate you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Absolutely not. Under no circumstances are you required to provide any information, whatsoever, to anyone, including a police investigator. Any such requirement would be in direct violation of one's United State's 5th Amendment Constitutional right to remain silent.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would encourage you to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. He or she will explain to you all your rights and options. For instance, in response to your question, please understand that, under the 5th Amendment to our Constitution, you have a right to remain silent and that anything you say to the police can and will be used against you. You also have the right, under the 6th Amendment, to an attorney. And again, I would urge you to exercise this right by retaining a criminal attorney ASAP! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    You are never required to speak to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/16/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    No. Do not speak with the police or da. You can invoke your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    You do not have to speak to an investigator about the charges. To do so would be a violation of your fifth amendment rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You NEVER are required to talk to the police. Often it is better to decline the invitation to speak with them, and speak with a lawyer instead.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Absolutely not. You should remain silent at all cost. The reason they are calling you is to get you to incriminate yourself further, so they have sufficient evidence to file charges against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    There seem to be different questions lingering in this question. You are never required to speak with an investigator or law enforcement issue such that you will incriminate yourself. If you want to press charges against someone else, again, you can refuse to speak because you may incriminate yourself and the police officer is left with whatever other information he has in order to decide whether or not to pursue charges against the other person. In the military, you may be ordered to provide testimony, if it does not incriminate you, against someone else.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    No. The issue to them will be why are not not talking to them. They may not believe you or may be trying to charge you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Office of Kyle T. Green, PLLC
    Law Office of Kyle T. Green, PLLC | Kyle T. Green
    No. You are never required to speak with an investigator. You have a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. If an investigator is trying to interview you, I would recommend that you get an attorney and have the attorney contact the investigator on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
    Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
    No, you have a constitutional right against self-incrimination. You also have the right to have an attorney present during any interrogation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Absolutely NOT! Get an attorney! Do not speak to investigator. Call me if you have any questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    NOLA Criminal Law
    NOLA Criminal Law | Townsend Myers
    No. Absolutely not. You only need to speak if you want to speak to law enforcement. And you should contact an attorney before doing so.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    No and you should avoid talking to anyone without a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    You have the right to remain silent. You are NOT required to speak with the investigator, but there may be implications that come about from that decision depending on the facts of your case. You may ask that an attorney be present at anytime while the investigator wishes to question you. You should contact an attorney to discuss your situation if you have more specific questions.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    No, you are not; and I would suggest you do NOT speak with an investigator, or any other person for that matter.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    No, it is not required and furthermore, it is not recommended.

    If you think that charges may be filed against you, you need to get an attorney immediately. Talking to the police without an attorney can only hurt you, as anything you say to them can be used against you later. An attorney can deal with the police, and even try to make sure that no charges will be filed.

    Talking to the police without an attorney is a very bad idea. If you are interested in discussing your options, please give me a call. We can sit down for a free meeting and figure out the best way to keep you safe. I am a former prosecutor and I know how the system works. I've helped a lot of people in very similar situations.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/15/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Engle
    Law Offices of Michael J. Engle | Michael J. Engle
    Absolutely not. You have a constitutional right to remain silent pursuant to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Never speak to law enforcement if you are a suspect without consulting with an attorney first.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/15/2011
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