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Is it illegal for a police officer to threaten me with a criminal charge if i do not give him "information", which i don't have.

Kingston, WA |

I was pulled over for no tail lights and my license was also suspended. I was not aware of the suspension. The police officer took me out of the car and told me he would let me go and not file any charge if i made a deal with him, to give him information regarding illegal activity in the community within 10 days. He said he would call me in 10 days and if i did not have information for him he would file a report.

This is unfortunate because i do not have any information about illegal activities in my area, nor do i really know anyone. I keep to my self and do not network with people in my local community.

I am wondering if this is legal for him, or if he can file a report after the fact that i had left the scene and so did he.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Unfortunately what you describe is common in and around Bremerton. That police department (and some others) offer to not forward a criminal report to the prosecutors office if you agree to 'work' for them. If you don't, they will typically find you again and arrest you on the original charge.
You should talk to an attorney right away. Once an attorney is involved, they can stop the officer from contacting you anymore. You will have to answer to the orginial charge, but at least it will be in open court with a judge, not in some dark alley with the threat of going to jail hanging over you.

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Posted

I would guess that the officer was toying with you and that you may never hear anything from him again. If he really wanted the information that he thought you had he would have charged you and then made a deal with you to drop the charges in exchange for the information. They way you describe it seems to be a little off. Nevertheless, you are never required to cooperate with law enforcement and don't have to provide them with any information even if you did posses it. The officer can indeed always file a report after the fact. If that happens and he is looking to charge you with a crimi al offense make certain to have an attorney to defend you.

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Posted

I don't believe that your description of events would be a threat. It also sounds as if there was a legitimate basis for a citation. fix your license problem.
Cops can offer to make a deal but it really is not enforceable. Need to be with DA.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

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Posted

Unfortunately, it is legal and common for them to do this. Driving on a suspended license isn't that serious of a charge but it does carry potential jail time. It should not be too expensive to hire a good lawyer to take care of the charge in court. Besides, you don't have illegal activity information to provide so this is your best choice.

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