What rights do I have if the police want to question me?

You have the absolute right to say nothing with some limitations.  Typically, if you are the focus of an investigation and the police want to question you it is because they want to build a case against you.  Remember anything you say to the police can be used against you.  Should you choose to talk with the police you have the right to stop talking at any time.  When you do decided to stop be sure to tell the police you are invoking your right to an attorney under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.  This will provide you greater protection.

You have the right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions.  Sometimes the police will tell a suspect that only a guilty person would want an attorney present.  Do not fall for this trick to get you to speak.  Remember, if you are the suspect of an investigation the police are not questioning you to help you – they are building a case against you.  They want you to keep talking to allow the State of Maine to use your words against you in court regardless of whether you are guilty or not.   You might think I did not do anything wrong and we can clear this all up by talking.  The police do not view talking as clearing things up but as collecting evidence for trial.

You are required, if you are arrested, to answer general booking question, i.e., you name, date of birth, address and similar date.  You are not required to provide any information as to why you are arrested.

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