While talking to police officers is nerve-racking when you’ve committed no crime, it’s often worse when you’re guilty of one. Catching suspects and closing cases are some of the factors used in gauging success in policing. Thus, questioning often turns aggressive and intrusive as police try to close cases. While most people deem it illegal, aggressive interrogation is legal in New Jersey. Here are tips on how to handle the interrogation.
Declining to answer
According to criminal law, you don’t have to answer any questions asked by the police. To avoid self-incrimination, you can choose to plead the 5th Amendment by remaining silent. Remaining silent applies when you are in custody or not. Most state laws, however, require you to provide any identifying information to a police officer. Once you decline to answer any questions from the police, contact your lawyer immediately.
Lying to the police
During police questioning, avoid lying to the police. Declining to answer their questions is better than lying. Once you lie during an investigation, the lies can haunt you later since your words are often used against you. If you’re unsure of what to say during an interrogation, don’t hesitate to consult an attorney.
Police identification during questioning
While on patrol, police officers ought to be in uniform, with a badge and name of their agency. However, most detectives choose to wear plain clothes but display their badges on their belts or around their necks. Undercover police don’t identify themselves. When exercising authority, police must identify themselves. During interrogation, it’s essential that you note the officer’s name. If not displayed, don’t fear inquiring for their name.
During police questioning, stay calm and avoid lying. Let the police know that you decline to answer any questions and contact an attorney. An attorney might help you achieve the best outcome.