Obligations when being interviewed


Old 11-29-07, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 110
Obligations when being interviewed

I am curious about a persons' obligations when being questioned or interrogated by the police. Can you just say "no"?
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Old 11-29-07, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,497
Of course you can say no, but there might be consequences. If you're the subject of the investigation, you obviously have the right to refuse to answer questions which would incriminate you. If you're a witness, you're not allowed to refuse, though it's unlikely you would ever be prosecuted for refusing.

My curiosity is piqued, any specifics available?
Old 11-30-07, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 994
Questioned, or interrogated? Two totally different things (I am a former LEO).
Old 12-03-07, 10:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Cool What can you say to a cop

Md2 is correct. There is a huge differnce between questioning and interrogating. With the former, it usually is a factfinding mission. But it can also be for the purpose of perhaps finding you to be a "person of interest" and then possibly a suspect.

The answer to your question during any kind of stop is to answer the officer's questions unless like Mitch says you would incriminating yourself.

Normally you are dealing with state/local/state authorities (as opposed to federal). It really depends on the facts and the law in your state. I seem to remember hearing there was a recent US Supreme court case which held all you have to do is tell them your name. I may be wrong on this.

In any event, if a cop wants to arrest you, he can always charge you with the old standby "resisting and obstructing". So even if you aren't a person of interest, depending on your cooperation (or lack thereof) they can charge you with that. Again it hinges on the facts of each case.

The best advice is normally to cooperate, unless you have a good reason not to. The worst that could happen is they arrest you (after they are done tazering you) and then you get to sue them for violating your state and federal civil rights.

Hope this helps.

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