No, absolutely not! No one is obligated to meet with the detective who calls them saying they want to ask them some questions or they want to clear something up. In fact, it is almost always the best advice for that person to not meet with the detectives and not answer any questions. It is always my advice that the right thing to do to exercise their right to remain silent. All of my clients have the right to remain silent but a lot of them do not have the ability. It is always the right thing to do because the detective usually just wants to get more evidence to use against that person.
If the detective does not have enough evidence to charge the person with a crime, then the person can refuse to talk to the detective and the detective still does not have enough to charge them with a crime. They have not made their position worse by not talking to the detective. The detective may believe that they already have enough but they just want to try to get more evidence. They get the person to come in, say something incriminating, improve the case against them and then they arrest them. The person can come in and just say, “I’m innocent. I didn’t do it”, and then the detective is going to arrest them anyway because they already believe they had enough and so they have a warrant that they are holding and arrest the person.
It is almost always the right thing to do to exercise the right to remain silent and not answer any questions and not go see the detective. There are rare occasions where I will let my client talk to the detective, but not unless I have been able to talk to the detective and investigate the situation and I am one hundred percent convinced that it will not hurt my client if they talk to the detective. It will clear the matter up and may not go any further. There have been rare occasions where I let my client talk to the detective and in those situations, it is always turned out good for my client but those are very rare, few and far between.
The police are supposed to read you your Miranda Rights once you have been arrested for any type of crime. Now, they do not have to read you your rights and there is no consequence if they do not unless they question you after you have been arrested. The law says that before you can be interrogated after being arrested while you are in custody, you have to be informed of your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney, right to terminate the interview, right to have an attorney if you cannot afford one. If you have been arrested and they do not inform you of your rights, that does not mean the case just automatically gets thrown out.
If they question you and you give some answers and you had not been informed of your right to remain silent, or they find some evidence based on your answers, then that evidence cannot be used. This evidence was obtained in violation of Arizona v. Miranda, which talked about the Miranda Rights, meaning that the person has to be informed of the right to remain silent. The Miranda Rights come into play once a person has been arrested. If the police are just talking to somebody who has not been arrested, they do not have to inform them of their right to remain silent. Most people do not realize that they have the right to remain silent at that time as well.
It is really important for people to remain silent before they start answering questions from any police officer. Know what it is about and they have the advice of an attorney present.
Yes. People are intimidated by the police. The police officer is there standing over you in a uniform with the gun strapped to their side, and with a police car behind you with the lights flashing. That is an intimidating situation. Plus, most of us have been brought up to be polite and gracious in conversation with others and to answer questions. Usually children are taught that the police are your friends and you can always go and run to them, you can always answer their questions.
It is human nature, first off, to be nice and answer questions anytime you are asked and then it is also a factor of intimidation whenever it is the police, a state official, or any authority figure. It can be intimidating and the natural thing is to think that I have to answer that question. The police use that because they know everyone feels that way, so they have that natural advantage.