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

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.

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Attorney answers 7


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.

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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.

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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


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
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 attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website


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


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.


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.