If police ask you to come in for questioning is it legal for them to refuse you legal representation?

Asked over 2 years ago - Riverside, NJ

Police wanted to question an individual about an incident he was involved in but would not permit him to bring a legal representative. He was told that no one could be present during the questioning.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Benjamin G Kelsen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If I understand the scenario, this would be a blatant violation of his Constitutional Rights. Please call at your earliest convenience to discuss in greater detail.

    Law Offices of Benjamin G. Kelsen, Esq. LLC 179 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666 Phone: 201-692-0073/ Fax: 201-692-... more
  2. Michael Lawrence Doyle

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Once you request counsel-all questioning must cease. Often times, their version of events tend to be different. I would have this individual contact counsel immediately.

    Michael L. Doyle
    (215) 735-5900
    www.michaeldoylelaw.com

  3. Eric M. Mark

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Under those facts, it is entirely unlawful and anything the person said should be inadmissible in court.

  4. Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First things first, one never agrees to "come in for questioning" to the police station for any reason without a professional counsel.
    Secondly, the U.S. Constitution (its Sixth Amendment to be exact) expressly codifies the right of any person to counsel at such stage of criminal inquiry.
    And, finally, if anyone is told that a legal counsel cannot be present is completely legally incorrect and misleading. Do not listen to non attorneys. Retain a criminal attorney at once in New Jersey.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general... more
  5. John P. Tierney

    Pro

    Contributor Level 5

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sounds like a bit of "permissive deception" (kind of like acceptable fibbing) by the police. If the person volunteers for questioning--they dont have to mirandize this person, i.e. read them his/her rights. However, if the person 'invokes' the right to counsel, i.e. states that he is unwilling to speak absent counsel in the police's presence, the police must cease questioning or they will be in violation of the 5th and 6th amendments to the Consttution. This gets more complicated if they seek the person but don't wish to use any of the information against that person but another!! Sounds like they are cleverly playing between the lines by indicating before the person appears that they don't want anyone present with him/her. In order to protect themselves, the person should seek counsel before submitting to any questioning whatsoever.

  6. Richard C. Southard

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have a constitutional right to have an attorney present when being questioned and a right not to answer any of the questions by police. Violating this right does not invalidate an arrest; however a motion should be made by your defense attorney to throw out any statements that were taken by the police in violation of this right.

    Richard Southard
    212-385-8600
    I am a former Deputy Bureau Chief with the Kings County DA’s Office with over 15 years experience specializing in criminal law cases. I offer free in-person, phone and video consultations.

    All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any... more
  7. Mark M Cheser

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If he requests an attorney they cannot question him without one even later. They can arrest him though if they have probable cause and they can ask the Judge for a high bail. That usually is the trade off for asserting your constitutional rights.

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