Police questioning and my rights

Asked 9 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

If one day I am called by a detective and s/he ask me to go to the police station to ask me a couple of questions regarding a criminal case, under the law, am I required to go? Should I contact an attorney or go to the public defender office (if I am unemployed or poor at the moment)? If by chance I were to be accused of a serious crime and failed to show at the police station, would a warrant be put under my name? Would police officers show at my door and would try to break into my place? If this were to ever happen (generally I do not get in trouble, but things can happen even to the most uneventful person) how should I proceed? Who should I contact?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Thomas J. Wagner

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . No you have no obligation to go to the police station. If they just wanted to get information, I think they would come to your house. You should not speak with them witout your attorney present. If they have or get probable cause that you committed a crime they will get a warrant to arrest you regardless of whether you talk to them. Talking to them is unlikely to help you and very likely will hurt you.

  2. Victor Murray Hwang

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Wagner. I would just add that I don't believe that the LA public defenders office will represent you prior to barging, if you want a lawyer, you will need to hire one. If you are charged and any afford an attorney, then the public defenders office will represent you.

  3. Jonathan R. Miller

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Wagner. Unless you are arrested you are not required to go to the police station for questioning.

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