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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20173
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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I was questioned by a cold case detective about a shooting

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I was questioned by a cold case detective about a shooting that they think one of my acquaintances committed. 12 or 13 years ago I was with a bunch of buddy's that I went to high school with at a strip club. After I left the club I was told they were kicked out for some reason. Since I didn't hang out much with them I never knew exactly what happened that night afterwards but the police are suspecting that one or more of them were involved with the shooting of the bouncer. A police detective came to question me about that day a few months ago. I gave a statement that I wasn't there when they were thrown out and told them what I remembered from that night which wasn't much. I went home earlier that night because I had to work the next day. Today I got a call from a detective from the DA's office asking to speak to me again about my statement before I'm called to testify in court as a witness. Who will I testify in front of when I appear in court? Will I need a lawyer for anything?

Thank you for the information and your question. First you need to ask him what forum you will be testifying in since there are a few different possibilities so I can't guess which one it is. One possibility is that you will be giving a deposition. That is just where either the prosecutor or the defense counsel wants to see what you would say about that night before you actually testify in court. Another possibility is that it is a probable cause pretrial hearing or grand jury, where they decide whether to issue felony charges. This could also be an evidentiary hearing based on some motion by the defense or prosecution and finally, it could be the actual trial. So, as you can see, many possibilities and important that you tell them that you aren't interested in talking to them anymore unless they clearly tell you what your statements are needed for.

In addition, if you want, you can refuse to make any more statements unless and until you are subpoenaed as a witness. Once you are subpoenaed you would have to show up. Finally, since you were with this group at one point in the night, and I have no idea what law enforcement thinks you might or might not know or have done, I strongly encourage you to sit down with a local criminal defense attorney and discuss this issue before you speak to anyone else at all about this case. If the defense attorney thinks that you might be in jeopardy of being charged with something (which is probably not the case, but I don't have all of the facts) then they will try to get you an immunity deal for your testimony. Otherwise, they can advise you on what you should or shouldn't say from here on out.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The detective from the DA and the DA wants to meet with me at my workplace and told me that it would be best if I did so that he wouldn't have to come to my work and cause a scene. He also stated that I was not a suspect and not being charged with anything but that I would be called into court next month to testify as a witness. I told him that I would call him back once I consulted with a lawyer. He responded by telling me to forward his number to the lawyer so that he could explain the same. He said that it wouldn't make a difference if I contacted a lawyer and that it would only cost me a lot of money. Do I look for a criminal defense lawyer and where is the best place to look. I'm in San Diego. How soon do I need to respond to the DA detective before he comes after me. Can you explain immunity?

Hello again and thank you for the follow up question. I can't say whether or not the detective is being honest with you or not. Sometimes they don't tell the truth and they try to intimidate people into making statements. So, that is why I advised you to speak to a local criminal defense attorney. This detective is trying to intimidate you by saying they will come to your work. Well, the ADA is not going to come to your work and if they want to speak to you, they know how to subpoena you. In any event, you can contact the SD County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service and they can get you matched up with a criminal defense attorney. You can find out more about that through the following website:
This is their phone number too:(NNN) NNN-NNNNor 1-800-464-1529

The attorney can explain immunity to you in more detail, but in essence, in exchange for you agreeing to testify about everything you know, including some information that might incriminate you in any crime, you and the State can enter into a testimonial immunity agreement that says no matter what you say while testifying they can't use it against you in a future prosecution. Otherwise, if they don't offer this to some witnesses who might have committed some criminal act, the witness can invoke his right to remain silent on the stand anytime he is asked about facts that might lead to a prosecution against him. It is a win win for both sides. But again, you may not need that depending on what your attorney finds out from the DA's office.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'll get in contact with a lawyer but meanwhile, am I required to call this detective from the DA's office back? Will anything happen to me if I don't? Should I just wait to get subpoenaed?

No, as I mentioned, you are under no duty to speak to anyone (detective or DA) unless you are subpoenaed. I would not necessarily say not to speak to them without one, but I would say don't speak to them until you have spoken to your own attorney. Then your attorney can, after speaking with the State, advise you as to whether you should cooperate with or without a subpoena. Ultimately though, if they want to take your testimony or a deposition, they need to issue a subpoena.

So, you can leave it as it was, which I think was that the detective said to give his number to your attorney.
Marsha411JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and thank you for your business. It was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue in the future, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.