The outcome for a number of “he said/she said” cases can be determined during the police questioning of a suspect. Often an innocent party can become the primary suspect in an investigation because they misspoke to a police officer or were manipulated into making a false statement that implicates them in a criminal manner to a crime. A variety of sex crimes, such as rape and sexual assault, are greatly dependent on police questioning during the initial stages of the investigation. If you are in need of a sexual assault defense attorney in Tampa, please contact us today.
In this three-part article, we first discussed your legal rights during police questioning. In this second section, we will discuss what requirements the police need to detain you. In the final section, we will discuss some tactics the police use during questioning.
Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause
There are certain requirements a police officer needs to detain a citizen for further questioning. The officer needs to have either “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to detain a suspect. If the officer has reasonable suspicion, this means they are inclined to have some form of supporting evidence. This legal merit of proof must be greater than a “hunch” and be supported by the rational deduction of those certain facts. Probable cause is a more demanding standard that means that the authorities have reason to obtain a warrant to arrest the suspect or perform a search of their home or vehicle.
Detained Suspects Should Consider the Following Steps
If an officer detains you, it’s important to consider your next steps to ensure you are not providing incriminating testimony that could result in your wrongful arrest. If the officer has denied your request to leave, you may feel obligated to ask if you are under arrest. Assuming you are not under arrest, it’s important to not consent to any voluntary searches of your vehicle or home. You don’t want to give the officer authority that encroaches on some of your basic liberties. It’s also important to allow the officer to do the majority of the talking. Talking too much with a police officer is never a good thing and can lead to the officer mounting evidence against you.
For a free consultation with an experienced sexual battery lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm at (813) 712-8736 or submit our contact request form.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.