What Should I Do If I’m Wanted By Police For Questioning?
Encounters with law enforcement can be intimidating, particularly if you are wanted for questioning in relation to criminal matters in Seminole. Statements you make can be used against you and may even lead to your conviction. As experienced Seminole criminal defense attorneys, we want you to be aware of common scenarios in which questioning is likely to occur and how to protect yourself during these encounters.
Ways You May Be Questioned By Police In Seminole
Even if you are innocent of any crime, you could find yourself being wanted for questioning either by the Seminole Police or by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. There are three ways police questioning generally happens:
- Police question you on a voluntary basis. Police may attempt to ask questions regarding your knowledge of a crime on an informal, voluntary basis. This generally happens if they have no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to formally detain you.
- You are formally detained for questioning: This is a more serious matter and occurs when police have a reasonable suspicion that you have knowledge of a crime, the people involved, or participated in it in some way.
- You are placed under arrest: Police can arrest you if they have probable cause to suspect you were involved in criminal activity. While in their custody, they are likely to question you about the situation and your role in it.
Speak With An Attorney Before Answering Police Questions
Under the Florida Statutes, police have the right to stop and frisk you if they have reasonable suspicion you are involved in a crime. In this scenario, you are required to provide them with your name and identification. The same is true if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or placed under arrest. You are not required to identify yourself for voluntary questions nor are you required to make any statements, regardless of the manner in which you are stopped.
There are important reasons why you should consult with an attorney before answering police questions. These include:
- Any statements you make can be used against you. Answers you provide can and will be used by prosecutors in securing a conviction.
- Statements you make could be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Police generally do not question you unless they suspect you of wrongdoing. As a result, they could easily misinterpret statements or twist your words in ways that work against you.
- You may be tempted to lie. As you are likely to be nervous during police questioning, you may be tempted to avoid providing certain details or even outright lie to evade charges. This only makes matters worse.
Remember, no matter what the situation, you are not required to answer police questions. Assert your right to remain silent and request to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney first.
Let Us Help You Today
At Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff, we protect you against police questioning, which can later be used to charge or convict you of a crime. Before making any statements, contact our Seminole criminal defense attorney and request a consultation first.