Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How to Respond if Questioned by Law Enforcement

Four individuals were recently arrested in connection with several robberies that occurred close to the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. Law enforcement reports that there were several muggings in the area over the last few weeks. These attacks have been described as “aggravated assaults” that involved the theft of cell phones, money, and wallets.

Shortly after 3 in the morning, Boston law enforcement noticed a group of around a dozen people who were allegedly loitering in front of four No Trespassing signs close to Milk and India streets. Law enforcement then arrested four individuals as well as seized drugs, firearms, and cash. All four individuals were subsequently arraigned in Boston Municipal Court. Two individuals were charged with unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and trespassing. Another one of the individuals was charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs. The fourth individual was arraigned on an existing warrant and also charged with trespassing. Eight other individuals who were questioned by law enforcement were permitted to leave.

You are Not Obligated to Answer Questions Asked by Law Enforcement

You have a Constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment to remain silent if you are questioned by law enforcement. You are not obligated to talk to law enforcement even if you feel you are not lawfully permitted to walk away from the police. Law enforcement cannot punish you for refusing to answer questions. It is almost always the best choice to decline to answer questions asked by law enforcement and promptly seek the assistance of an attorney.

What Happens if You Do Not Exercise Your Fifth Amendment

If you do not utilize your right to remain silent and instead speak to law enforcement, it is important to remember that anything you say or do could end up being held against you in a court of law. If you do speak to law enforcement, you must remember that lying or telling false versions of what happened could get you into even worse trouble. It is often the case that people who decide to continue speaking to the police can end up finding themselves in additional penalties besides the initial charge.

What to Do if Law Enforcement Threatens to Subpoena You

Law enforcement sometimes threatens to subpoena people who refuse to answer questions. If law enforcement threatens to subpoena you, you are not obligated to answer any questions at that time. Law enforcement may or may not be successful in obtaining a subpoena. If you receive a subpoena, you should promptly obtain a lawyer, or if you have one notify them about this. You must follow a subpoena’s orders regarding when and where you must report to court. 

Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.