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What to do when police detain you for questioning

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Having the police detain you for questioning about a crime can be a frightening and confusing experience. Police officers might detain you if they believe you have information about a crime or if they suspect your involvement in a crime.

It is important to understand that having the police detain you is not the same as having them arrest you. Detainment means that the police are holding you for a short period for questioning, while an arrest means they are taking you into custody. Here are some steps you should take if you find yourself detained for questioning about a crime in California.

Stay calm and be respectful

Though it might be challenging, staying calm and being respectful to the police officers can be beneficial. You must remember that yelling or arguing can escalate the situation unnecessarily. Speak clearly, answer the questions you are comfortable with and follow the officer’s instructions.

Understand your rights

While the police may detain you for questioning, you still have rights. You have the right to remain silent if you choose, and you do not have to answer any questions that could incriminate you. If you decide to remain silent, you must inform the officers of your decision.

Ask if you are free to leave

You need to understand whether the police are detaining you or if you are free to leave. If you are unsure, ask the officer if you may leave. If they say you may leave, you should do so calmly.

Avoid volunteering information

While cooperating with the police is often in your best interest, you should be cautious about volunteering information that they did not ask for. Stick to answering the questions asked and do not offer additional details that could complicate your situation.

Seek support if needed

If you feel overwhelmed or unsure about the situation, you might consider seeking support from someone you trust to be there with you, such as a friend or family member.

Having the police detain you for questioning about a crime in California is a serious matter. However, Knowing what to do in this situation can help protect your rights and may make the process go more smoothly.