Criminal Law – Police Interviews

Do I have to participate in an interview with Police if I get arrested?

The short answer is No. Let’s look at this more closely.

If you get arrested, there are probably many thoughts and emotions you will encounter. There might be anger, shock or disappointment initially. You might also think of how you can get this situation to end as soon as possible. If you get arrested, they are often times of emotion, and you are not thinking clearly.

It is important to remember that if you get arrested, your first action should be to ask for legal advice from a lawyer.

A part of the Police investigation process is offering people a chance to participate in an interview with them. These interviews are recorded and usually involve two Police officers and you. Now, you may think the best option is to follow what the Police officer asks and participate in the interview. However, it is important to know that every person has the right to silence and can decline the opportunity to participate in the interview. A Court cannot make any adverse inference that you did not assist Police and participate in the interview. To decline the interview is not to be rude or obstructive; it is simply your right at law.

The interview is an effort by Police to gather more admissible evidence against you. If you do participate in an interview with Police, it can be used in evidence and a Court will listen to it. This includes if you decide to answer some questions and not others. If that occurs, a Judge or jury might wonder why you answered some questions but avoided answering others. To eliminate that scenario, it is advisable not to participate in an interview at all. You can simply let the Police know that you do not want to do an interview.

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