I am currently on probation and within the last 2 weeks I have had a detective calling me. He has left messages stating he wants to talk to me regarding a case he is working. I am not certain what it is about but I do have an idea. He is saying if I do not call him he will just get in touch with my probation officer and meet me there. Am I obligated to speak to him because I am on Probation or can I exercise my right to remain silent? I do not want to get violated while I am on probation.
You do not have to speak with the detective because you are on probation. If the detective or your probation officer should persist or try to intimidate you to give a statement call your attorney immediately. You may have lost most of your fourth amendment rights regarding search and seizure, but your fifth amendment rights are in tact.
Your probation officer may ask you to come in for any reason. The detective may be there when you come in. You do not have to talk to the detective at all. Tell him you do not want to talk to him without first consulting an attorney. Your probation officer cannot hold you there for any reason other than to fill out a monthly report, get you payment, go over the rules with you, or have you take a drug screen. He cannot require you to talk to the detective. Do not answer any of the PO's questions except as how they relate to your probation. If either of these guys won't listen to your silence, ask to speak to a lawyer or a supervisor.
My colleagues have hit the nail on the head. If you choose to speak with the detective ask first what it is about. If you have no information that could help him, tell him so. The problem is that the probation officer holds the keys to your freedom. I frequently tell clients that if probation tells them to wear purple underwear on thursdays, you better do that. All kidding aside, if you are at all uncomfortable speaking with the detective, get legal advice first, and perhaps pay the attorney to be there with you.
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