Being questioned by law enforcement before to arrest is one of the most critical points of the whole criminal process. Anytime someone is investigated for an offense gives statement it can be dangerous. Those under investigation for a crime need to bear in mind that the POLICE ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS
. Law enforcement officers are simply collecting statements so they can use those same statements AGAINST YOU later on. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and right against self-incrimination. This means you don’t have to answer any of the officer’s questions and can choose to instead remain silent. We highly recommended always exercising this right until you seek counsel from a lawyer.
If you are not in custody, then you are always within your rights to walk away from the police officers. First, ask them if you are “in custody”: if they say you are, by law they must inform you of what you’re being arrested for and also must read you your Miranda Rights. Being in custody doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be handcuffed. Rather, to be placed in custody means you’re under control of the officer. For instance, if you feel that you can’t walk away from an officer, then you are technically in custody. You also have rights against unreasonable search and seizure. A police officer can’t simply search your person, your car, your home, or seize your belongings without meeting the appropriate legal standards.
As far as “Search and Seizure” goes, the rules and standards differ depending on the what is being searched and the why. The officer will need to ask a potential defendant if they can search their person, car, or property and typically the suspect gives the officer permission. YOU SHOULD NOT GRANT PERMISSION. This can only hurt you. Don’t allow police to search if they ask you.