Police Interrogations FAQ

If you ever find yourself being questioned or interrogated by the police, you need to be aware of all your applicable rights. You also need to know what you should or shouldn’t disclose to them. This helps to avoid self-incrimination or violation of your rights, which is a common occurrence in most police investigations.

In this writeup, a local Orange County criminal defense lawyer helps answer some frequently asked questions regarding police interrogations.

Am I Required to Answer Questions if Randomly Stopped by A Police Officer?

Police officers on duty have the power to stop any individual or group of individuals if they believe the said individuals have committed a crime. However, the Fifth Amendment gives you the right to refuse to answer any questions asked by the police, when stopped or arrested. The law only requires you to disclose your official name.

Do Police Need A Warrant to Arrest Me?

In serious or high-profile cases, police may or may not need to have warrants before making arrests. However, for petty or non-serious offenses, all that is needed is a probable cause, or a complaint from another person.


Nonetheless, it is not legally permissible for police to search your house without a search warrant, unless there is a reasonable belief that you may destroy evidence. The search warrant must specify the crime alleged to have taken place and the person(s) involved.

Miranda Rights; Do They Matter? When Should Police Read Them?

The Miranda Warning typically states the personal rights that apply to you during your involvement with the legal system. The police should ideally recite the warning to you before they start the questioning, but they are not required to.

Can I Change My Mind During the Interrogation?

Yes, you can refuse to answer any more questions, and request for a lawyer even after waiving your right to remain silent. However, any self-incriminating words you said before could still be used against you in court, in line with the Miranda Warning.

What Are The Common Techniques That Police Use in Interrogations?

To begin with, the constitution forbids the police from using torture, drugging, beatings or any inhumane methods to obtain information from suspects. In case you are subjected to such methods, you have the right to sue the police department and request an acquittal.

Nonetheless, police are known to use lies, tricks and other psychological tactics to get confessions. The most commonly used method is the Reid Technique, which involves the following strategies:

1. Minimization – It is also known as the \”good cop\” option. This is where the police tell suspects that they understand their situation, and that telling the truth will reduce the charges.

2. Maximization – This strategy is also known as the \”bad cop\” option. Basically, the police will reiterate the case presented against the suspect, and the possible consequences. The point is to make suspects disclose more information, in a bid to exonerate themselves.

3. Isolation – The suspects are held and interrogated far away from their parents and friends, often in an intimidating room with minimal light.

Do The Police Need a Warrant/Permission to Collect Bodily Samples?

It depends on the case; each case is different. If you are arrested for drunk driving, you must by law provide a breath or blood sample to the police. If you refuse, the police will promptly get a search warrant to draw your blood, and your driver\’s license will be suspended.


If you\’ve arrested in Orange County, contact our law office in Huntington Beach today!

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