If You Are Contacted for Information
When a case is reactivated you may be contacted by media, law enforcement or people representing the interests of a defendant. Always make sure you know with whom you are talking; you may ask for identification. You can choose not to speak to the person, and you may also ask to have a police officer or DA with you during the interview. If you decide to talk with the person, give clear and precise statements and be aware that anything you say may be used in court. The following tips may be helpful to keep in mind:
- Be sure you know who you are talking to if you are being asked for information about your loved one and/or the case.
- Defendants may hire investigators; they are not law enforcement agents. Investigators should clearly identify themselves and tell you for whom they work. If they are not clear about who they work for, insist on knowing prior to having a conversation. You do not have to talk to the defendant’s private investigators. If you choose to talk with them, consider having a police officer or prosecutor present.
- If you are unsure of whether to talk with someone, check with the investigator assigned to your case.
- Members of the media should clearly identify that they are reporting and that what you say may become part of their story. This is not always the case, however, so if you aren’t sure: ask. Even if a reporter says they will not share your comments, do not say anything you do not want to see printed or reported on the news.
- You have the right to decline media interviews. Additional information can be found on this website in Tips for Interacting with the Media.