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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Do police detectives usually threaten people with arrest? Big

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Do police detectives usually threaten people with arrest? Big tip for a good answer thanks.

A while back I gave my phone number to lady outside of a nightclub she wrote it down in her ipod and then emailed my name and telephone # XXXXX herself. The next day I received a call from a detective telling me that my name came up in a stolen ipod case they were investigating, and according to the 2 detective's the ipod (nightclub lady apparently stole) the ipod had the real owners email programmed in it so the real owner had access to all emails coming and going to it. Well these 2 detectives had my name and number because of this they kept harassing me calling over and over telling me to turn myself in that I was a thief and going to be arrested to give them my birthrate and telling me they were going to issue an arrest warrant if I did not turn in the ipod. This continued for days and days they even left voicemails telling me that they knew I did not answer my phone on purpose and they were about to issue a warrant If I did not keep on talking to them.

I repeatedly let them know the same story and that I was a happily employed older man with not a single traffic ticker or even criminal record of any kind and would not risk my freedom stealing a trinket, but the harassment kept coming and coming and coming to the point they would leave messages telling me I was thief and so forth.

I was about to go into an attorney's office but at the end of that same week the detective told me they found the ipod and not to worry about it. But this whole event specially the unfounded threats from the police officer's I trusted to keep me safe. This all really upset me to the point that a year later I still think about it. And are even scared to give out my number to people for fear of an event like this ever repeating itself.

It really upset me that according to these 2 detectives they could arrest me at any time for anything without even a hair of real evidence. Are our freedoms that easily infringed I just always believed it was beyond reasonable doubt as a tax paying citizen and business owner and that america stood for more than this pettiness (I would think to my self, all of this work they are putting in for an ipod?? I once had my Cadillac stolen and they did not even come to look the scene of the crime).

This whole scenario was so embarrassing I have not told anyone about it. But I would like to ask this and big tip for a good answer. Is this how these detectives usually work with just threats and harassment? Or was there possibly something else behind this (maybe the detective personally knew the victim?) Could they have had an arrest warrant with pretty much no real evidence?
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I reply.

Your Original Question
Do police detectives usually threaten people with arrest?

YES. It does not mean that they will do so, but they use this leverage as a way to get you to cooperate, and possibly to state whatever it is they want you to state, which may later be used against you. You see, police are allowed to lie to you in many situations in order to get a confession or otherwise get you to do something. I am going to link you to a Youtube video from a law school lecture (do not worry, it is not dry) which you can view, and after you do so, you will have a completely different (and whole) understanding of just how manipulative police can be - see here. You do not have to view it now, but I do recommend watching it later. This should be very helpful.

Allow me to explain how this works:

The Standard Path of a Complaint
1. a complaint is made;
2. if the complaint seems credible, then the police will take her statement, and one from you (should you wish to give one - we will get to this in a second), and compile a file, which would then be passed on to the District Attorney; and
3. the D.A. decides whether or not to file charges.

Reasonable Steps to Take (if this happens again in the future)
First of all, understand that you are under no mandate to talk to the police should a complaint be made (see video). However, of course, not cooperating is seen by some as a sign of guilt. Ergo, parties in your situation may wish to retain counsel. I now that you may not wish to do this, but it may be the best step you can take. Your attorney would then make a statement if necessary with the police as to what your official version is, or, even allow for an interview, but controlled by your attorney and objections to questions and/or termination of the interview if it gets too heated is possible. This is the best bet, and it will have you give your version of the story without the possibility of being manipulated by the police, since you would be flanked by your counsel while doing so. Do not go to the police yourself, without counsel.

If the police cannot build a case, and the D.A. sees that you are being smart and have retained counsel, then they are likely to simply have the matter drop.

Concluding With Follow Ups
Is this how these detectives usually work with just threats and harassment?

It really is how they work. However, the police are unlikely to arrest you until the D.A. give the go-ahead signal and agrees to file charges, which may take weeks. So their threats were empty. They were trying to scare you.

Or was there possibly something else behind this (maybe the detective personally knew the victim?)

It is likely that the detectives were simply being zealous in their pursuit. They wanted to scare you, corner you, and have you admit to something.

Could they have had an arrest warrant with pretty much no real evidence?

This depends on the D.A. Normally, the D.A. would not file a charge unless there is some corroborating evidence from another party, or the item was found on you at at your residence, or you have a criminal history. Without that, it is simply your word against hers, and it is unlikely that the D.A. would have pursued this without more evidence.

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