The manner in which you conduct yourself when communicating with Pennsylvania authorities may have a significant impact on the outcome of your interaction. Knowing what rights you maintain when dealing with law enforcement officials may help you avoid unnecessary legal trouble.
If authorities suspect that you may be doing or possessing something illegal, they may try to use any number of different tactics to get you to speak and incriminate yourself. In many cases, though, you do not have to volunteer any information at all, and you may want to avoid doing so so that your words do not come back to bite you. Authorities may use the following tactics, among others, to get you to incriminate yourself.
Threaten you with a grand jury subpoena
There is a clear difference between a law enforcement officer being in possession of a grand jury subpoena and threatening to get one. A threat is just that – a threat, and you maintain the right to remain silent when an officer makes it. Make sure to inform the law enforcement officer on the scene if you plan to exercise this right, though.
Use the “knock and talk” approach
Authorities may also try to get you to self-incriminate by visiting you at home and knocking on your door. Unless they have probable cause or a search warrant, you do not have to let them in or even speak with them.
While lying to law enforcement is a crime, exercising your right to remain silent is not. Doing so may mean the difference between encountering serious legal trouble and moving forward with your life as normal.