What do I do if accused of stealing? 1 Answers as of May 24, 2011

I am a teacher and babysitter. I recently got a phone call from a Brookline, MA detective saying that I am being accused of stealing an IPad computer from a family I babysit for. The detective said I had to come in immediately for an interview, however I was just evicted from my house so I am not close to Brookline and I do not have transportation to get there. He told me he would give me 5 days to come in or he would bring me straight to court. I did not steal the IPad and he hasn't said he has any evidence suggesting that I did. What are my rights?

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You have under the 5th Amendment the absolute right to remain silent. Almost invariably an experienced criminal defense attorney will advise you in no uncertain terms to exercise that right. Without knowing more, this certainly seems like advice you should heed in your situation. From my experience, typically when the police say to suspects (or "persons of interest") that they wish for them to come to the station under these circumstances, almost invariably it is because, in point of fact, that wish to get more evidence against you than they already have. In other words, often times they will try to either trap you into making some sort of inconsistent statement(s) which will then be used against you at trial as evidence of guilt, and/or to use some other piece of evidence they already have to later suggest at trial that your story makes no sense and thus you are guilty. I cannot stress enough that you must contact and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney and do not speak with anyone, including the police, except for that attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent and to legal counsel throughout.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/24/2011
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