Police Contact: When to Contact an Attorney

When you are speaking to a police officer, it is important to know at what level of contact you are. Is it a conversation in passing? Are you relaying information? Or are you being detained? These levels are important in understanding when you need to contact an attorney, or at the very least be aware you may be under suspicion of a crime. This article will describe each level of contact with a police officer, and your options at that time.

The first level of police contact is simply questioning. This may occur when you are a witness to a crime or are otherwise willingly giving the police information. Should you receive a call from a detective regarding an incident you have been named as having knowledge of, this is an example of questioning. At this time you are free to speak to a police officer, but you should be aware that even though you have not been Mirandized you could still incriminate yourself by volunteering information. Unless you are uninvolved in the situation completely, it is not advisable to answer questions about yourself in questioning.

Interviewing is similar to questioning but different. Interviewing will involve you being named in a case file and can be a prelude to an arrest. It can take place anywhere, from your own home to the police station. You may or may not be Mirandized, as you may or may not be suspected of a crime. Like questioning, you should never volunteer information that pertains to you.

Being detained is the next level of contact. Detained means you are not free to go, and that you while not under arrest, you are in the custody of law enforcement. Being detained can vary from being pulled over for a traffic stop, or being a person of interest in a crime in the vicinity. To determine whether or not you are being detained, ask, “Am I being detained? or, “Am I free to go?” If you cannot leave willingly, then you are being detained and should be Mirandized. At this time be aware that you are most likely under suspicion for a crime and should seek legal counsel.

If you are arrested, you will be informed that you are under arrest for suspicion of a specific crime. You may or may not be placed in handcuffs, and you will most likely be placed somewhere you can be monitored or secured by law enforcement. At this time you should say nothing to law enforcement and request the presence of an attorney. Remember, you can not say anything that will improve your situation, only deteriorate it. The prosecutor’s office will not be more lenient on you because you spoke to the police, on the contrary that provides them with a “slam dunk” case!

A parallel to being arrested, being charged with a crime means you have actually been formally accused of a crime by the city, state, or federal government. You may be arrested, and if so you will be transported to a local jail for arraignment by a judge. Again, at this time it is critical that you say nothing to law enforcement until you have acquired a lawyer.

In any case, if you feel you are being questioned about your own actions by the police, contact an attorney immediately! You can not talk your way out of a situation with the police, and can only harm yourself by speaking to them. They may threaten you with arrest if you refuse to talk; if this is the case, they were probably going to arrest you anyway. No matter what, as soon as you are detained, your next step is to contact a competent criminal defense attorney.

 

Police Equality and Diversity

We can easily notice nowadays how diverse the UK is becoming. It is highly evident, especially in the more urban areas of the country. The police equality and diversity policy and attitude is, by necessity, changing and adapting to mirror the demographics of the communities in which they serve.

The police constantly strives to ensure a very strong, even unbreakable, link between the police force and members of the community. This has to take race and ethnic issues into consideration. The police force must therefore negate all suggestions of discrimination, however slight, and ensure that the modern police force in England and Wales is fair on everyone.

Apart from being a more ethical stance to take, the level of police equality and diversity will have a large impact upon the service that the force is able to provide to our many communities. By becoming more diverse, the police force is able to integrate itself into our communities much better than it ever has before. By constructing itself from officers of other ethnicities, the police force can be far more approachable to those of a different race, origin, gender or sexuality. The public can therefore feel more inclined to working with the police to promote a greater standard of living and quality of life.

Building bridges is all part of crime prevention. By treating all members of the community with dignity and respect, the police force will enable itself to gain a greater understanding and create a strong yet trustworthy presence. The co-operation of members of any community can greatly help in the reduction of crime. Tensions between the police and the public will thus be eased and a more relaxed, yet effective, atmosphere can be established.

To gain the most from police officers regarding police equality and diversity, the forces across England and Wales are taking several measures. Some forces ask officers to register their own languages, experiences with other cultures and unusual skills so gain from their experience. Other police forces have given aid to female members of the force to help them with their children. In Wales, it is increasingly common to see the police force employ gay officers in order to reduce tension between the police force and the homosexual communities.

The police also operate a scheme of encouraging those of an ethnic minority to join the force. There are currently not enough applicants from such groups and thus the police force has to encourage a greater participation from such communities. This is helping to improve the quality and diversity of the service provided by the police in England and Wales.

Police equality and diversity is paving the way for a far more public-friendly and effective law enforcement service in England and Wales. In doing so the public will be more aware of police activities and all communities will feel more able to work with the police to improve the quality of life in our local residencies. Being diverse is simply what makes the police so able and capable in its crime fighting mission