What to Do if Police Want to Question You in Ohio

Posted On: August 10th, 2022 by Bradley J. Groene
Police officer in front of his car

If police are interested in questioning you in Hamilton County, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

Questioning can quickly turn into an interrogation if you find yourself the subject of a police investigation. Make sure you protect yourself. Here’s more about what you can do if the police want to question you.

When Might Police Want to Question You in Ohio?

Generally, law enforcement officials will want to question anyone who could have been involved in or witnessed a criminal offense. For this reason, you can expect to be questioned by police if you were a witness to a crime or police have reason to believe that you could have been involved in a crime.

There are multiple situations where police could question you. These include:

  • Voluntary encounters – In a voluntary meeting, the person police are questioning has the right to leave at any time. Law enforcement officials do not need a warrant or probable cause for a voluntary encounter.
  • Temporary detention – Temporary detention occurs when police reasonably suspect that the person they are questioning should be a suspect in their case.

Once law enforcement has probable cause that a suspect has committed a crime, they have the authority to arrest the suspect. However, before they do this, they may attempt to question them.

If you have reason to believe you are a suspect in a criminal investigation and police request that you come down for questioning, make sure you have a criminal defense attorney protecting your rights.

Should You Talk to Police Without a Lawyer?

Talking to law enforcement without an attorney may be ill-advised. This is particularly true if you are under investigation for a criminal offense. Remember, anything you say to the police can and will be used against you at trial.

Your attorney can prevent self-incrimination, make sure you exercise your right to remain silent, and take action on your defense from the start.

Your Rights When Approached by Police

When police approach you at your home, work, or place of business, you may wonder what your rights are. Do you need to speak with the police? Are you required to go to the police station for questioning if they ask?

Here are some of the more important details you need to know about your rights and what the police can do when questioning you:

  • You have the right to remain silent, and anything you say to law enforcement officials could later be used against you if criminal charges are filed. Instead of speaking to the police, contact your criminal defense attorney immediately.
  • If police ask you to identify yourself, you are required to provide them with your name. You must also provide your driver’s license and vehicle registration if you were pulled over in a traffic stop.
  • Police have the right to lie to those they are questioning. They are legally allowed to use these tactics to obtain confessions from suspects. However, law enforcement officials do not have the right to coerce confessions or statements from suspects.

Can Police Questioning Lead to Being Arrested?

Police questioning has the potential to lead to an arrest. For an arrest to be made, law enforcement must have enough evidence. If police believe they have enough evidence for a conviction, they can proceed with an arrest.

If this happens, you should prepare to invoke your right to remain silent and contact your criminal defense attorney as soon as you can after being booked and placed in Hamilton County Jail.

How a Lawyer Can Help You Face Police Questioning

You are under no legal obligation to have a criminal defense attorney when police question you. However, even a seemingly innocuous statement could result in an arrest and criminal charges.

Your attorney can:

  • Analyze the circumstances of your case to determine the severity of the charges you are facing
  • Work with the prosecutor to obtain a plea bargain or pretrial diversion program
  • Conduct a thorough investigation securing evidence to support your defense at trial
  • Hire experts to testify on your behalf
  • Provide you with regular case status updates you can rely on

Get Help from a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If police ask you to come down for questioning or approach you at your home or in public, you must retain an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.

Start working on your defense strategy today when you contact our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you complete our confidential contact form or call our office at (513) 338-1890.