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What to do if the police want to talk

When you face accusations of or an arrest for a crime, it is paramount that you understand the law. For example, the state of Missouri has three different types of assault charges, including first degree, second degree and third degree. You want to understand each type if the police arrest you on assault charges.

It is also important for you to understand your rights. Whether the criminal accusations or charges are for kidnapping, assault or murder, you are guaranteed certain rights, and an arrest may not happen automatically. Police may wait until they can gather more evidence. During that time, they may ask you to come in for an interview. You should understand what options are available to you.

Right to remain silent

This is a well-known right everyone has. Whether at an initial stop or after an arrest, you do not have to talk with police officers. There are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, when police officers ask for your name and address, you have to provide it.

Going to the police station

Officers can ask if you would be willing to go down to the station to make an official statement. Unless the police have arrested you, you are under no legal obligation to go.

In the event you agree to go to the station, you are implicitly agreeing to have the conversation recorded. Additionally, interviewing with the police independently does not come with any guarantees that they will drop the charges afterward.

Support for juveniles

Kids who are 17 years old or younger must have a parent or legal guardian with them during police interviews. The person accompanying the minor is referred to as a “support person.”

When facing criminal charges, you should ask to speak with your lawyer before agreeing to speak with the police. The actions you take during the beginning of an investigation can greatly affect the outcome.

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