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There are two reasons the police would want to interview you.

1. you are a witness to a crime

2. you are a suspect in a crime.


In either instantance you should retain the services of an Attorney before making any statements.  Many people believe wrongfully that if the police want you to make a statement or be interrogaged you must speak with the police.  This just wrong.  You are under no legal obligation to make a statement to police or Federal Agents.  If you do make a statement to Federal Agents that is false you could be chaged with lying to a Federal Officer this is again another reason you should consult an Attorney before you agree to make any statements to the police. 

Police Officers are trained interrogators, many people think they can simply outsmart the police or talk there way out of things.  The police are not required to tell you the truth and many times use suberterfuge to obtain confession.  In fact I have personally watched well over 150 interrogations of all sorts and have rarely seen the police not use subterfuge, or false statements.  


Well wouldnt the police have to read me my rights if I am interviewed.  It depends.

The only time a police officer is required to give you Miranda Warnings is when certain factors are present.

1. Police Dominated (it must be a government agent) 

2.  Custodial (you must be in custody ie a reasonable person would not feel free to leave)

3.  Interrogation (something reasonably likely to elicite an incriminating response)


Notice that no where above does it say you must be read your rights after being arrested because you dont. 

often the police will arrest you and not read you your rights because the detectives want to read you your rights because if you invoke your rights all questioning must stop.

and the officer arresting you often does not want you to do that so he will not read you your rights.

Getting back to the original question of should I talk to the police.  Many times the offier will conduct the interview in a manner in which he does not have to read you your rights such as at your home, ie not in custody therefore, no Miranda warnings are needed. 

If you make statements to that officer they can and will be used against you regardless of whether you were read your Miranda rights because you are not in custody and Miranda Warnings are not needed.

The police are usually working on a set theme of how they believe things happen.  I have seen detectives simply disregard obvious exculpatory evidence that does not match with there set theme of how they believe something happened.  Thus another reason you should immediately obtain legal assistance if you are being asked to give any type of statement to law enforcement. 

That is not to say  that I you should never give a statement to law enforcement, there are certain circumstances where after speaking with an Attorney the Attorney will have you speak to police if he believes it is in your best interest to do so. 

Sometimes the Attorney will provide a written statement to police rather than have you make an in person statement.

Or if the Attorney feels there is nothing you could possibly say that is incriminating he may allow a statement, usually these type of meeting will  occur in the presence of an Attorney and the Attorney can always stop the interview, or only agree to allow the answering of certain questions. 

As you can see the decision of whether or not to make a statement to police can be complicated, call us immediately if you have any questions.   

Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418