Sometimes its a phone call, other times a knock at your door. It's the police and they have questions. Just a few about what happened, or where you were, or they just need to "clear a few things up". What do you do?
What you DON"T do is talk. Do not talk to the police, unless you have spoken with an experienced criminal defense lawyer first.
What if I haven't done anything wrong?
Doesn't matter. Speaking to the police before speaking with a criminal defense attorney is always a mistake. Why?
You have no idea what information the police have or where is came from. Are you the subject of a criminal investigation or just a witness? The police will not tell you. Where did the police get their information? From a reliable witness? From somebody with a grudge against you? Surveillance video? Anonymous source? The internet? Bottom line, you don't know.
Won't I look guilty if I don't talk with them?
No, and who cares. You are under no obligation to cooperate with the police, just as they are under no obligation to tell you what there information is and what they are investigating. Always ask to speak with an attorney first, preferably an experienced Philadelphia criminal attorney at Scarpllo and LaTour.
Don't they have to read me or tell me my rights first?
Simple answer, No. Miranda warnings, "you have the right to remain silent, etc", only apply if you are in custody or in a situation in which you might not feel free to leave. This is precisely why the police call you on the phone or show up at your door unannounced. However, the minute you tell them you want to speak with a lawyer, their questioning must stop.
Bottom line, don't talk to the police unless and until you have spoken with an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Scarpello and LaTour we have over 40 years experience in handling all types of criminal matters. Whether you are in Philadelphia, Media, Norristown, West Chester, Doylestown, Camden or anywhere else in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, call our offices if you have been contacted by the police. Know your rights. Get a free consultation with the best Philadelphia defense lawyers out there. Call today.