If you or a loved one is suspected of a crime in the San Diego area and the police are investigating, it is important that you speak with an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer immediately. A good San Diego defense lawyer will protect your rights. If a San Diego criminal lawyer gets involved early in the investigation, it might help prevent charges from being filed against you.
There are three main situations in which the San Diego police may ask you questions. First, the police can initiate a voluntary contact, and you will be free to answer questions or leave if you wish. Second, the police may temporarily detain you to ask questions without arresting you. This is known as a “Terry Stop.” Generally, you can only be detained for a short period of time, and the questions must be limited to questions about your identity and suspicious activity. Third, the police may take you into custody and ask questions. The custodial interrogation requires that you are read your Miranda rights.
These are your Miranda rights:
- You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned.
- If you cannot hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning if you wish.
- You can decide at any time to exercise these rights during the custodial interrogation.
It is difficult to tell whether police questioning is voluntary contact, a “Terry Stop,” or a custodial interrogation. The best thing you can do if you are being questioned by the police in San Diego is to first ask whether you are being detained. If the police officer says no, then you should decline to answer questions and leave. If the police officer says that you are being detained, then politely tell the officer that you do not wish to answer questions without a lawyer present. You will not get a free lawyer until you are charged with a crime, but you can have a lawyer present whenever you are questioned by the police.
Even when you believe there is no reason why the police would suspect you committed a crime, it is still best not to answer any questions without a San Diego criminal defense lawyer. Any response, even an innocent response that is the truth, can be misinterpreted. It is also impossible to know what statements may be important if you are charged with a crime. In California, many people are convicted based on voluntary statements that they gave to the police.
Anything you say will be used against you, but it will not be used for you. If you go to trial, there are specific rules of evidence in California courts. People cannot testify about statements made outside of court, known as “hearsay,” unless they are a defendant’s own statements used against him or her. If another specific “hearsay” exception does not apply, then the police officer will not be able to testify about any statements you made that were to your benefit.
If you are being investigated by the police in San Diego, you have rights. However, different rights are available at different times depending upon the level of police suspicion. It is difficult to determine exactly what your rights are in a given situation without the advice of a knowledgeable San Diego criminal defense lawyer. If you are suspected of committing a crime in the San Diego area, speak to a lawyer right away.
Can the Police Search My Home Without A Warrant?
A police officer can search your home, and he can do this either with or without a warrant. If the police officer does not have a warrant, there are certain conditions that must be satisfied before he proceeds to inspect your home.
For instance, if the officer believes that you are trying to destroy evidence or that someone in your home is trying to destroy evidence, he can inspect your home without a warrant. He does not even need your permission to enter the home. He can break into your home and begin the search. Speak to a criminal defense attorney in San Diego if the police are at your house, and conducting a search.
If he is entering your home without a warrant however, he must only inspect the area in which you are arrested. He cannot search any other areas of the home without a warrant. However, if he has reason to believe that there are other suspects that are hiding in other areas of the home, then he can search those areas as well.
Remember, that the officer has the right to retain any evidence that he may recover during a search. For example, if he recovers illegal drugs during a inspect in plain sight, then this may be retained as evidence. If an officer arrives at your home seeking to arrest you, speak to a criminal defense attorney in San Diego immediately.
What You Should Know About Arrest Warrants
In San Diego, a police officer does not need an capture warrant to arrest you. He can arrest you with or without a warrant.
However, an officer may decide to get a warrant for the capture before he decides to take you into custody in your own home. The arrest warrant is a document that must be signed by a magistrate or judge. If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, then you can be arrested by any officer anywhere across the state of California. The officer does not necessarily need to have a copy of the warrant for your arrest.
If the police officer however, arrives at your home with the capture warrant, then you can ask to see it, and the officer must provide a copy of the warrant for you to see.
However, remember that if you resist, the officer can break in to your home in order to prevent you from escaping, or from damaging evidence. Also remember that resisting an capture is a crime.
If you believe that that there is an capture warrant being issued in your name, then contact a San Diego criminal defense lawyer immediately. It is important to first determine whether there has been a warrant issued, and the amount of bail that has been set. Remember that there is preemptive action that you can take to protect yourself, and prevent jail time.
This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please call 619-330-5881 or fill out the form above for a free, no-obligation consultation.