Dealing With Police Questioning in Norfolk
Unless the police officers have a warrant when they approach you, you do not have to consent to anything. You do not have to make any statements or admissions and you definitely do not have to allow them to search your home or to come inside. You should instead politely decline and say that you are not comfortable letting them inside without a warrant. If you are stopped by a police officer in Norfolk but have not been detained then you can go.
You have a right to refuse to answer any questions for any reason or for no reason at all. You can invoke your right to silence by just saying you don’t want to answer any questions.
If you do not clearly invoke your right to silence with a statement, you may subject yourself to continued questioning by the police. For more information about how to deal with police officers when they approach you with questions, contact a Norfolk criminal lawyer today.
Getting Taken Into Custody in Norfolk
You may be taken into custody, regardless of whether you remain silent, if the police officer personally saw you violate a state statute, city ordinance or federal law. Generally, you can only be taken into custody for a misdemeanor committed in front of the officer, unless you have an outstanding warrant or there are some factors present that may indicate that you are a danger to others or to yourself, such as in a domestic violence situation, or if you refuse to identify yourself.
For felonies, which are more serious crimes than misdemeanors, the police in Norfolk can take you into custody if they have probable cause to believe you committed the crime. If there is a warrant for your arrest, then you can be taken into custody as well.
Difference Between Being Detained and Questioned
Somebody is detained when a police officer uses enough force or show of authority that would make a reasonable person feel that they are not free to leave. If in addition to asking you to stop and using their authority to make you stop, the officer pulls out a weapon or uses a strong threatening tone of voice, it would be even more clear that you have been detained. If the officer interferes with your liberty to move, then they need to have a reasonable suspicion that you have been involved in a crime.
Should this matter end up in court, a Norfolk police officer would have to support the suspicion by referring to facts that prompted the suspicion. They cannot simply detain you because they have a bad feeling about you.
After Charges Have Been Filed
After someone has charges filed against them, they can expect for the work to really begin. This is when evidence should begin to be collected and a strong defense should begin to take shape. In Norfolk courts there are always a lot of cases that involve military personnel. Generally, this does not have an effect on the outcome of the case, but it is something unique about the clientele in the courtroom.
It is not uncommon for people to bring their commands with them to testify for them and it is also not uncommon for issues to be brought up regarding security clearances. This makes defending these cases unique because there are more factors to consider on the table besides the usual ones that civilians worry about.