Know when you can refuse to answer police questioning

If police suspect that you may have something to do with a crime, regardless of what type of crime it is, they may approach and ask you questions. Alternatively, they may ask you to come down to the station for questioning. While these are common police procedures, it is always wise to know when you have the right to refuse to answer questions.

Before you answer any questions, you must know your rights and how to protect them. The police officers with whom you interact do not have to inform you of your Miranda rights until an arrest is imminent. When you voluntarily submit to questioning, any information that you give them may help build a case against you. If you have any concerns about protecting your rights when interacting with the police, use the legal resources that you have to make sure you have the understanding and guidance you need to keep your freedoms and rights secure.

Refusing police questioning

Police often rely on the authority of their positions to get the information that they need. While this is not necessarily wrong, many people offer up more information than they need to because they think that they have some legal obligation to do so.

If police invite you down to the station to answer some questions, you are generally free to refuse. By asking you to the station, an officer hopes that you can shed light on a case or possibly incriminate yourself before facing charges or a subpoena. It’s common for the police to act as though they want to help you or have no real interest in you as suspect, which is not always true.

In short, you may refuse to submit to questioning, or if you believe it is in your best interests to answer questions, you can consider submitting to questioning after getting legal counsel.

Don’t rely on police for clarity

Police cannot break the law to uphold it, but the laws that apply to civilians are not the same as the laws that apply to the police in all areas. Police often obtain evidence by asking questions without telling the person they ask that it is legal to refuse to answer.

A strong legal defense begins with a carefully built strategy to protect your rights and priorities. Be sure to keep you and your future safe from unfair or unclear police questioning.

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Neil S. Ruskin
188 Montague Street Suite 900
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Local: (718) 237-1547
Fax: 718-875-4011