Human minds work in mysterious ways, and being inquisitive runs in our DNA. You are having a pleasant morning walk or strolling in the park, cherishing a beautiful evening. You suddenly see something that you believe is not legal, right, or moral. Your mind immediately pushes you to call for help or at least get some clarification. You are about to dial your local police station number, but can you call the police station to ask a question?
Normally, we call the police in a state of emergency, such as to report a crime in progress or provide important information related to illegal or suspicious activities. You can also call the police if you feel you are unsafe or someone is threatening you.
However, the question stands; can you call the police station to ask a question or clarify your doubt on whether something is a crime or not? Or should you even call the police to ask a question? What can be the consequences of doing so? What are your rights when talking to the police? Here are all your answers.
Can You Call The Police To Ask A Question?
The simplest answer is, Yes; you can call the police to ask a question or ask if something is a crime or not. However, it is important to note that police are not bound to answer your question if it is technical or unorthodox. That means if the police officers believe that they don’t have an accurate answer to your question, they can stay quiet or tell you they can’t answer it.
Moreover, the police are not allowed to give legal advice; they usually prefer avoiding a tricky conversation that requires good knowledge of the law. If you intend to call the police, try to keep these things in mind.
Things to Remember When Calling The Police Station To Ask Questions
1- Do not call the emergency number
If it is not something urgent, then try avoiding calling on 911 or emergency numbers. These numbers are for emergencies, and asking non-emergency questions will waste their time. The best way is to call your local police station on their non-emergency number and state your question.
If your local police station doesn’t have a non-emergency number, you can stop by the station and ask the question directly to any available officer.
2- Police officers are not lawyers
Just as mentioned above, if there is a technical question, you may not get a satisfactory answer from the police. Officers can only provide you with non-binding, general information but not technical assistance.
People generally don’t ask simple or casual questions. So, if you intend to ask about tenant rights, matrimonial problems, or something technical about civil or criminal law, it is better to call a lawyer.
3- Stop by your local police station for detailed answers to important questions
If you believe that the question you want to ask is important to you, it is better to go to the police station whenever you can. It will help you in two ways;
- You can get a detailed answer if the officer has enough knowledge about the subject matter.
- Even if the officer doesn’t know the answer, he/she can look up and get a copy of the statute. This way, you will have the most accurate answer to your question.
4- Be patient
The police are here to help you, and it is possible that officers are preoccupied. Sometimes, an officer may call in another officer to give you the best possible answer or guide you in the best possible way. Therefore, be patient.
Should You Call The Police To Ask A Question?
Well, there is no harm in asking a question, but before doing that, you can ask yourself these questions.
- Is it something that just bothers you, or is it something really suspicious, immoral, or illegal? A person lying on the back seat of a car may be just sleeping, not dead or kidnapped. Similarly, if someone is playing loud music in that street (that bothers you), you can ask them politely.
- Can you handle the situation yourself? If you think talking to a friend or colleague can help you sort things out, it is better to handle it by yourself.
What Are Your Rights When Talking To The Police?
Whether you are an immigrant or native, you have the right to get help from the police. In fact, while seeking help or asking a question, you don’t even have to disclose any information about your immigration status or nationality unless you are leaving or entering the states.
However, be noted that not all police officers are equally cooperative; they may not respect your rights. In fact, many officers even throw harsh questions to upset or confuse you. In such cases, it is better to remain silent and tell them you cannot say anything without your lawyer.
Apart from that, you can even call the non-emergency police number and choose to remain anonymous. However, it is important to know that they usually have information about you or at least the mobile phone you are calling from. Just ask your question and see if you can get the answer; giving police wrong information can backfire, so avoid it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q; Can you call the police station to ask a question?
A; Yes, you can call the police station to ask a question, whether you are an immigrant or native.
Q; Can you call the police station for legal advice?
A; No, the police are not entitled to offer legal advice.
Q; Can you call the police station anonymously?
A; Yes, but the police most likely know who you are.
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