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It is often a times difficult to recognize if you are under police interrogation, or the officer is just trying to determine your identify. An encounter with the police or other law enforcement officers (LEOs) could be intimidating and frightening. The reality is law enforcement officer will not, in most cases, approach you if they don’t have something to gain from their contact with you. It may be simply asking for information about the where about of a person you know and who they are investigating, or whether you’re an eye witness to an incident that occurred before the police arrived the scene.

Here is a list of things you should be aware of when dealing with police or other law enforcement officers to determine if you are under police interrogation, or may be the officer is simply trying to determine your identity:

Police Rights

The police have the authority to determine the identity of people within their jurisdiction when they are trying to prevent or solve crimes. Therefore, the police have the right to ask you for your biographical data such as your name, address, date of birth, or social security number. And the law required you provide truthful, accurate, and complete answers to these questions and to produce your identity card, driver’s license, or passport to the officer for verification.

People’s Rights

However, every individual accused of a criminal offense, including minor traffic code violations, has the right to remain silent along with the related right not to have to provide information that will incriminate him- or herself. The right of individuals against self-incrimination, particularly individuals in the United States, is protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

When it Shifted to Interrogation

A police interrogation begins when the police shift their focus from asking biographical information to asking specific questions regarding the alleged crime. Some legal professionals believe this is where the line becomes blurred; however, I strongly believe it is where the line becomes more distinct.

Keep in mind that a police officer can move very swiftly from asking identification questions to interrogation. The officer’s shift may be either intentional or unintentional; there are no hard-and-fast rules to gauge this behavior. However, fortunately, I can give you a few clues that will help you determine when an officer has crossed over from identifying to interrogating you.

It is interrogation, particularly if you are a suspect or person of interest, when police ask questions such as:

·         Do you know what happened?

·         Where were you when this incident occurred?

·         Please tell us what you know about this incident.

·         Were you at the scene when the incident occurred?

And so on – the list is endless. The above sample questions are intended to obtain direct information about the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime being investigated. If a police officer asks you these or similar questions, there’s no doubt the officer is interrogating you.

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If you have questions, call (913) 233-2133, or visit us at www.ogunmenolawfirm.com.
 
 
The consequences of failing, or dropping “hot,” or “dirty” urinalysis, commonly known as UA, in a felony drug possession, or DUI cases are serious. If random UA is a condition of probation in a felony criminal case, then dropping a hot or dirty UA could lead to revocation of your probation. This means, you may be compelled to serve the remainder of your jail sentence.

On the other hand, if random UA is a condition of your pretrial bond, it could lead to your bond been revoked, and you could be send back to jail or prison. In addition, your bail amount could be increase to a higher amount. The new bail amount could be out of your reach. In addition, you may not be able to secure any bond or bail company to undertake your bail. If you are unable to post the new higher bond, or no bail company will write your bail, it could mean you will have to stay in jail until your case is resolved either by trial or plea.

The danger of dirt UA is apparent to an individual on probation, because she or he is aware random UA is part and parcel of his/her probation. However, the danger of dirty UA is not so apparent to person on felony pretrial appearance bond, because random UA is usually not included in the pretrial appearance bail conditions. However, in criminal charges, such as, drug possession, or DUI, random UA may be an implicit condition during pretrial bond release.

The government prosecutors often use this little known implicit pretrial bond release condition to gain tactical advantage during pretrial proceedings. Particularly, in a situation where a defendant in a drug possession or DUI criminal prosecution case refuses to accept the prosecutors’ guilty plea offers. At the conclusion of any of the pretrial hearings, such as, a scheduling conference, the prosecutor could request the judge to order the defendant in a drug or DUI case to submit to a random UA immediately after the hearing. Most judges routinely oblige to the prosecutors’ demand for UA in drug possession cases, over defendant’s objections, because of the “nature” of the case!

Most drug possession or DUI criminal defendants, are not aware that UA drug testing facilities are often located within the courthouse. So, the defendant is compelled to go directly to the testing room and take a UA test. The result is transmitted to the judge almost instantaneously. If the defendant dropped hot or dirty, the judge could order the defendant detained and haul into jail at the waiting hands of abundant law enforcement officers in the court room. The judge could raise the bond amount before the defendant can regain his/her liberty.

The lesson here is that a criminal defendant in a drug possession should always be prepared that she or he could be ordered to take a drug test at any time while in court for his/her case. The smart thing to do is to remain illegal drug free at least while your case is pending.

 If you have questions, call (913) 233-2133, or visit us at www.ogunmenolawfirm.com.