What to do if you’ve been contacted by law enforcement in Raleigh, North Carolina
If a law enforcement officer in Raleigh, North Carolina contacts you, it is important that you exercise your rights so that you can protect yourself. Knowing your rights will make all the difference when it comes to being arrested, questioned, or charged with a crime.
Providing information to a law enforcement officer without an attorney present is never a good idea. You are not required to answer any questions. If the police show up at your house or place of business without an arrest or search warrant, you do not have to let them in. If they do have a warrant, you can still exercise your right to remain silent. Be polite and respectful, do not physically resist an officer, and request an attorney prior to answering any questions.
If a law enforcement officer tells you that they want to ask you questions, you have the right to remain silent and it advised that you do so. You may hear that you are not under arrest, and they’d simply like you to come on down to the station, but will be free to leave at any time. This type of language simply means that your statements can be used against you without your Miranda rights being read to you. Miranda only needs to be read before a custodial interrogation. If you are free to leave at any time, then any misconstrued statement made at the police station can be used against you in a court of law. Tell that that you would love to cooperate with them, but not before hiring an attorney.
An attorney can help prepare you for a meeting with law enforcement officials. This prep work can include meeting with you several times to discuss the facts of your situation, determing whether a meeting would be beneficial to you, deciding which questions will be ok to answer, and coordinating the time and place that the meeting occurs. Perhaps the officer will agree to hold the questioning at the attorneys office where you would feel more comfortable. Your attorney should be present with you at all meetings with law enforcement to advise you whether the questions should be answered, and whether the interview should continue at all.
If you are stopped by the police, remain calm and be aware of your body language and words. Do not argue with the police, do not use profane language or resist them physically. If you are injured by the police, take photos as soon as possible and get medical treatment immediately in order to document your injuries.
If you’ve been contacted by law enforcement in Raleigh, North Carolina and are unsure how to proceed, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Contact the Scharff Law Firm in Raleigh, NC at (919) 457-1954 for more information on your rights and how you should proceed.