Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Can police deny a person legal representation if said person is being questioned by police but not under arrest? A friend who recently lost her husband in a house fire went to the police station with her son/attorney. Police refused to allow the attorney to be with her during questioning. The interrogation lasted two and a half hours.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.
Are you online with me?
Welcome to JustAnswer.com
Can you please tell me what happened and how did police deny you legal representation?
Hello, I am here
As I noted my friend was not allowed to have an attorney present (her son) when questioned.
When your friend was approached or questioned by the police, did your friend demand to consult with his attorney and to have the attorney present?
Yes, she went to the police station with her son who is an attorney. She needed a police report for the insurance company to settle the estate of her husband who died in the house fire. The police threatened to arrest her son if he did not leave.
Well, was your friend suspected of any criminal activity?
Apparently, since they questioned her for over two hours about the fire.
Well, your friend did not have to talk to the police, if she was not under arrest and could have simply left.
Or she could have advised police officers that she would not make any statements, unless she has her attorney present with her.
Generally, in a situation such as you describe, her son would have a conflict of interest, due to his potential interest in this matter and would not be able to legally represent his mother.
Does this make sense?
So, if your friend feels that she was not treated with courtesy and respect, she can file a formal complaint with the police department's chief against any specific officers who she feels have mistreated her, but generally there would not be any type of legal recourse under the facts you have described.
Do you have any related follow up questions?
Yes, if she had a defence attorney who was representing her and not her son would the police have allowed the attorney to be present?
If the attorney formally states that he is representing this friend, the police would generally allow her attorney to be present and if they did not, then the attorney would advise her to simply leave and not to give any statements, since she was not under arrest.
Yes, but then she cannot settle the estate and pay the bills.
Her attorney would be able to make sure that police does take any appropriate report related to this matter.
I suspect, that the son was either to emotional or might have been in some way hostile to the police and this what have caused this issue.
It is very easy to get overly emotional when it comes to representing close family, that is why it is never advised of any attorney to do...even when there is no direct conflict of interest.
yes, can you further explain what taking any appropriate report means?
That means, if there is any information that has to be reported to the police and falls within reportable information, the police would have to make the report.
Yes, you have been helpful thanks.
I wish you the best of luck.Please click on the "Excellent Service" feedback, so I can receive credit for my answer.Bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, but are not required
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).