Can he avoid talking to the police altogether?
Your brother does not need to speak to the police. He can simply say that he is not interested in speaking to them and discontinue any conversation. This is ALWAYS my advice to my clients. Why? If the police suspect your brother did something wrong, he's not going to talk his way out of it. What he'll end up doing is admitting he did something, or place himself at the scene, or do damage to his case without realizing it. If your brother speaks to police, he should have an attorney there with him.
I'm glad you put the word "talk" in quotes. The police don't simply want to talk to your brother. They want more.
Your brother should contact a local criminal attorney to discuss his case. That way, he can sit down and have a confidential discussion with somebody on his side about what his options are and what's likely going to happen.
He does NOT have to talk with them. If he is arrested, he should say that he wants a lawyer and does not want to talk with police. He should not discuss any potential charges with anyone other than his lawyer.
If you broke your arm, would you want a good doctor? Would you want the local boy scout who had some first aid training? Who do you want to set your arm? Would you perhaps want to do it yourself, maybe after checking some references online?
This is not a do-it-yourself situation. You need to be talking with a criminal defense lawyer there, now. If you can’t afford to hire one, you should get one appointed. In the meantime, you should not be discussing what happened with anyone, especially the police!
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I am an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.
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Most questions are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Few, if any, legal matters should be handled via Internet communication. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services.
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NO he does have to go talk to them. He probably cannot "avoid" them completely, but he should consult with a local criminal defense attorney before doing anything else. Let the lawyer contact the cops and find out what's going on.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney--Former Prosecutor--Put my experience to work for you!
No and NO - do not talk to law enforcement without first getting careful and thorough advice from a criminal defense lawyer. However, not going in to talk to law enforcement doesn't mean they will suddenly stop calling him. I encourage clients to have a "planned response" if they receive a call from law enforcement - and should go something like this: Police "Hi - is joe schmoe there?"; Client "this is"; Police "Hey we are trying to wrap up an investigation and I assure you you're not really a suspect, but it would be really helpful to get your version of events in order to help us make sense of things - will you talk to us?"; Client "I would like to but I spoke with an attorney who told me not to - sorry, but No." HERE'S THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER: They CAN and WILL record your refusal to talk - so if you say something rude and out of line when you refuse, assume you're on recording and that CAN be used against you. So, that's why I tell the client to blame an attorney - that way, if the jury ever hears your refusal to talk, the jury can blame the attorney rather than you...
Your brother should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if he believes that the police suspect him of criminal activity. He should not talk to law enforcement without having his attorney with him. Nobody has a duty to talk to the police. It is a mistake to talk to the police even a slight bit - even to deny anything. Once the conversation starts, it is difficult to stop the conversation and impossible to take anything back once it is said.
That being said, if your brother is on probation, parole, or extended supervision, then he has a rule of supervision that he be cooperative with law enforcement. I would still suggest that it is best for your brother to politely decline answering any questions without having his attorney present. Just be aware that this issue exists and may cause a period of incarceration if the agent believes that your brother has violated his rules.
This communication is for the purposes of general advice only. This communication does not form any contractual obligation on behalf of the Attorney Stephen W. Sawyer or the Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer.
As everyone responding has advised, no he does not, and he should not. politely declining.
For an excellent presentation by a law professor on why one should never talk to police, see the following.
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First, do not talk about this in public anymore. You or your brother. Second, do not talk about this to each other. Third, hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. If you had a cavity in your tooth, you would not treat yourself would you just because you know what a cavity is? Fourth, as other lawyers have mentioned no one has to talk to the police. To get you to talk, police can lie. Moreover, by going into the police station you waive many important constitutional rights. More than likely, any such statement in the police station where you go in to speak to them is going to be presumed voluntary. GET A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY NOW.
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