What do I do when the police want me to come in for questioning about something I did?

How to handle the situation where the police want to question you about something you did.

The simple answer I give people is to keep your mouth shut. Generally, if you did something and the police want to ask you questions about it, you should not say anything and talk to your lawyer. You will not be able to explain away what you did. The police are trained and experienced in this game, you are not. Think of Joe Pesci from Goodfellas who gave the police nothing. Another piece of conventional wisdom is that if the police want to talk to you about something, and you have not been arrested yet, the police do not have enough evidence yet to charge you and are looking for that evidence to come from your own mouth. In other words, if you're not already in jail, they don't have a case against you yet. Remember, anything you do say to the police will be used against you, so why help the police convict you?

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Iris August 07, 2011 at 09:15 AM
I understand and agree with the concept of the police and the prosecutors needing to do their jobs. Really, I do get that and agree with the ideal. But whatever happened to the simple concept of admitting you did something wrong and accepting the consequences for your actions? If that happens to include jail because of the seriousness of your wrongdoing, so be it. You did it. Admit it, and save the taxpayer's money. There is a recent case where a young man was arrested for animal cruelty. While the community condemned him and friends defended him, he has done the right thing. He has admitted he did something wrong and is willing to accept the consequences. Sadly, he is a rare example, and if people follow your advice, his actions will become even more rare.
bob cumbers August 08, 2011 at 04:17 AM
actually it was a young Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) that gave the cops nothing. And it's true-and I gave my boys the same advice-don't say a word .
paul peck August 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM
If the police wish to interrogate a suspect or witness, they can knock on that persons door. They do not need to tell the person the real reason for the questioning. The higher courts have ruled that subterfuge is legitimate. They do not need to give you true information regarding the questioning or even tell you true things. This is not unreasonable. Asking a suspect what he knows about about one set of events may cause him to reveal information he otherwise would not about a more serious case. The interrogation can take place when and where the police wish to conduct the interview. This is not unreasonable either. Incidents of public safety occur at any time. Miranda rights do not apply to a person unless they take the person into custody. The police do not need to tell someone who is in charge of the investigation. Illinois has a state "Bill of Rights" for police officers. If a police officer is suspected of wrong doing or even a crime, they must be informed of it in advance and in writing. They must be told the nature of the suspicion. Subterfuge is not allowed. The interogation must take place when the officer is normally on duty, and not when it is best for the investigation. Full Miranda rights are always in effect for police officers but no one else. The police have rights superior to anyone elses when they are suspected of wrong doing. I agree with Iris, what ever happened to admitting when you are wrong?
paul peck August 24, 2011 at 03:09 PM
titles of nobility are expressly forbidden by the Constitution. The Federal Government and each state is expressly denied the power to issue such titles. Since the Magna Carta, the chief feature of a Title of Nobility has been that they endow the bearer with superior civil rights. For example, English Nobles today do not need to respond to certain types of subpoenas, cannot be called to witness in some types of cases, and always have the right to appeal to the Monarch (ie. right to have a case heard in the supreme court of the land), etc. If a person is bit by a dog owned by an english noble, they do not need to show up in court if sued, and the lawsuit can be tossed out based upon superior rights, etc. Heredity of these rights has been treated as a Civil Right in itself. The Title of Duke was never hereditary and such was the case when the Constitution was ratified. D It seems odd to me that lobby efforts have allowed States to ratify bills of superior rights to law enforcement officers, even though the Constitution expressly forbids this power to be granted to any state or the Federal Governement, and these bills of rights exclude application of common law in the future. I agree with iris. what ever happened? Standing on the few rights we have as citizens is far less extreme than the superior rights the interogators have when they interogate you, and asking for those rights is far less extreme than hiring a lobbyist to circumvent the Constitution.
paul peck August 24, 2011 at 03:23 PM
It is my belief that the law enforcement officers bill of rights is unconstitutional because it is in effect, a title of nobility and ratifying the law was a power expressly denied to any state by the Constitution. The state does have the power to grant rights superior to the Constitution. It is my belief that the illinois law enforcement officers bill of rights is illegal and must be made to apply to either everyone in the State or it must apply to no one, ere it is a title of Nobility. The ACLU has agreed with me, that the state has a choice to apply the superior rights to everyone or to rescind a bill that is a de facto title of nobility. but still a pro bono lawyer to take that case that has no money value and is purposed only to defend the Constitution is very hard to find. so life goes on.
John Schrock August 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM
It was Joe Pesci who told the story about the police beating him "allright tough guy, you ready to talk now" and he replied, "what are you doing here i thought i told you to go ____ your mother." Our founding fathers understood where Joe Pesci's character was coming from due to their experience with the oppresive English. The founding fathers knew that ferreting out crime is a competitive enterprise. When a terrible crime has been commited society puts enormous pressure on the police to obain swift justice by apprehending the perpertrator. Torture can be a highly efficient way of solving crime.Crimes solved by confessions, when there is no other evidence to link the confessor to the crime, are frought with difficulty and the founding fathers believed it was better to let a few gullty to go unpunished than to convict one innocent person.
james o'connor September 08, 2011 at 09:51 AM
paul peck, your comments about the Police Officer's Bil of Rights are about as half-witted and misleading as you can be. You have clearly made an attempt to distort the truth by omitting clearly defining sections of the Act, such as: 50 ILCS 725/4) Sec. 4. The rights of officers in disciplinary procedures set forth under this Act shall not diminish the rights and privileges of officers that are guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Illinois. (Source: P.A. 83-981) (50 ILCS 725/5) Sec. 5. This Act does not apply to any officer charged with violating any provisions of the Criminal Code of 1961, or any other federal, State, or local criminal law. (Source: P.A. 83-981) (50 ILCS 725/6) Sec. 6. The provisions of this Act apply only to the extent there is no collective bargaining agreement currently in effect dealing with the subject matter of this Act. (Source: P.A. 83-981) Nice try Paul. Typical anti-police rhetoric from someone I assume has been an anti-police type rebel rouser his entire miserable life. Next time you want to stir hate and discontent about the police, try not to sound like such a nut job. Magna Carta, Titles of nobility etc? Really paul peck? really? nut.
paul peck September 08, 2011 at 11:34 AM
and personal insult against me and assumptions on my character are not half witted and misleading? If there is a qualitatively different treatment of rights based upon a class of persons, then it is a title of nobility and does diminish rights of others as per article 1 and 2 of the Constitution. Internal affairs probes are part of collective bargaining, and part of criminal investigations as well. This is true inspit of any Napoleonic Code. I did nothing to merit the insults you levy at me. Legally, I believe the Bill of Rights for Law Enforcement officers must be made to apply to everyone or it must apply to no one. That does not seem hate stirring. and I have said nothing to verbally attack anyone the same is not true for you
paul peck September 08, 2011 at 11:44 AM
I would be amiss in my duty as a citizen if I did not question if authority was being administered in the best possible way. blind obedience to authority has often caused people to do terrible things http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpIzju84v24 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkmQZjZSjk4
paul peck September 08, 2011 at 11:53 AM
point for point you cite 1) 50 ILCS 725/4) Sec. 4. The rights of officers in disciplinary procedures set forth under this Act shall not diminish the rights and privileges of officers that are guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Illinois. (Source: P.A. 83-981) This affirms what I have claimed. The act does not diminish rights of officers but adds to them because they are officers. This is a power the State of Illinois may have been expressly forbidden to grant, that if the state wishes to expand civil liberties, they must do it for all persons and not exclusively based upon peerage. (50 ILCS 725/5) Sec. 5. This Act does not apply to any officer charged with violating any provisions of the Criminal Code of 1961, or any other federal, State, or local criminal law. ( (50 ILCS 725/6) In real world practice, suspicion of criminal charges is based upon evidence. In the case of officers, the investigation must take place first before charges are issued. This section of the law clearly states that it goes into effect after the officer is charged and not while he or she is being investigated by internal affairs. Sec. 6. The provisions of this Act apply only to the extent there is no collective bargaining agreement currently in effect dealing with the subject matter of this Act. Collective bargaining that is in effect use this statute as the minimum. I have not mislead.
paul peck September 08, 2011 at 01:35 PM
In terms of terminology, the Constitution states in Article I and Article II that neither the State nor the Federal Government can grant a "Title of Nobility". The legal practice of "Title of Nobility" was in effect when the Constitution was ratified, and still holds legal effect today in Great Britain. Under British Common law (in effect when the Constitution was ratified and the basis of our legal system), Titles of Nobility fall under the speciality of "Peerage Law". Granting of an extraordinary civil right to a person based upon peerage to a group is the defining characteristic of "Rights of Peerage", also known as "titles of Nobility". Under British Peerage law which is a power the Constitution forbids any State of Government to grant. Many dictionaries like Websters define heredity as the chief feature of a Title of Nobility. Under Peerage law, heredity is in itself a right that may or may not be granted. The title of Earl was never hereditary for example, but still granted extraordinary rights based upon peerage. Perhaps we should rewrite the Constitution if the term is too archaic. and to reiterate, the section you quote that says the law does not apply to officer "Charged with a crime" does not mean I ommitted to misrepresent. Before the officer is charged, the law is in effect during the investigation, and grants greater rights than the citizens enjoy based upon the officers peerage.
paul peck September 08, 2011 at 02:04 PM
When Wyoming was a territory, a man was arrested for the improper livery of a horse. he tied a feather pillow to the back of the horse instead a saddle. His lawyer cited the definition of a bird as " a two legged animal covered with feathers." he argued "Two legs was only a general requirement as a bird could be born with and extra limb and still be a bird" and also that the definition did not say the feathers had to come from the bird itself nor required to cover the entire body, thus, when the feather pillow was tied to the horse, the horse legally became a bird and there was no law forbidding the riding of a bird in the wyoming territories, thus, his client was innocent of all wrong doing. And the case was won. I did not do that here. The rights of officers...under this Act shall not diminish the rights...ofofficers that are guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution and laws..." correct! The law grants extraordinary civil rights to officers. we agree on this "This Act does not apply to any officer charged with violating any provisions of the Criminal Code" we agree on this too. It grants rights to officer being investigated before charges are issued. "The provisions of this Act apply only to the extent there is no collective bargaining agreement currently in effect" Agreed! the law allows granting peerage rights in collective bargaining, and promises peerage rights if no such agreements are in effect. The Constitution forbids peerage law.
paul peck September 08, 2011 at 10:40 PM
if you pass laws that limit the scope of any investigation, it becomes more difficult to bring charges. the fact that the law enforcement officers bill of rights does not apply to criminal charges is true. Its provisos grant superior rights to the officer before and during the investigation at any time before formal charges are filed. to say this proviso proves I misrepresented is horse feathers. Peerage law is granting a superior rights to a person based on peerage. This is a title of nobility as per the terms used in the Constitution, forbidding the power of any state or the federal government to grant. It is sad that some states and lobbyists disregard this. I did not misrepresent. If an officer is suspected of wrong doing, that officer is investigated in a qualitatively different way than other citizens in a manner the founding fathers of our nation found loathsome. Persons with titles of nobility in the past and even in the present have superior rights when investigated for certain crimes and civil offenses. to say this piece of legislation is not a title of nobility forbidden under the constitution makes no more sense than putting feathers on a horse and claiming it is a bird. yet that is what lobbyists have done and they seem to have convinced you too but I suspect you are so angry with me because you wish to believe the world is one way and I have presented something that claims it is different. I understand and forgive you
John Schrock September 09, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Paul Peck, Abe Lincoln said it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
james o'connor September 09, 2011 at 05:03 AM
Ok I realize nothing I say will persuade you so I'm not going to try. But let me just say, that I can assure you that having been a police officer for the last 15 years I won't get any special treatment if I break the law. No 'Title of Nobility' has been bestowed upon me ever. What happens as far as an investigation by my employer to determine an administrative suspension or termination from employment has NOTHING to do with the criminal prosecution of my case by the State's Attorney's Office. That's it in a nutshell. You're simply reading it wrong and confusing the issues. My advice is to stop listening to George Noory, Art Bell and the folks at the Illinois Constitution Militia, try FM radio for a change and maybe switch to decaf. I see John Shrock correctly quoted Abe Lincoln in response to you. We in Law Enforcement refer to that as a 'clue.' Have a good day bud.
paul peck September 09, 2011 at 11:03 AM
If John's advice is a "clue", and given your profession as a law enforcement officer, some on this thread could misconstrue what you said as a veiled innuendo and a threat. I would like to say James that I do not believe that is what you meant. I do not want anything read incorrectly of confused and misconstrued. I still forgive you James for hurling insults at me.
Joseph Hosey (Editor) September 09, 2011 at 12:41 PM
To James O'Connor, that's completely false. How can you say a police officer won't get preferential treatment in a criminal investigation? Just look at the Kathleen Savio case. Drew Peterson was questioned when he wanted to be, where he wanted to be, and was allowed to sit in on his wife Stacy's interview as well, for the sole reason that he was a police officer. And that is only one high-profile example known to the public.


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