Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Policing / Procedural Law

Interrogation refers to questioning a suspect or witness by law enforcement officials or other authorities in a criminal investigation or prosecution.

The primary purpose of interrogation is to obtain information relevant to the investigation or prosecution of a crime.

Interrogation is distinct from questioning, which refers to any inquiry or request for information, regardless of whether it is conducted in the context of a criminal investigation. While questioning may also be used to obtain information relevant to a criminal case, it is not necessarily conducted by law enforcement officials or subject to the same legal constraints as interrogation.

Interrogation in the criminal law context may involve a range of techniques, including direct questioning, leading questions, and other methods designed to elicit information from a suspect or witness. Interrogation may also involve a degree of coercion or pressure to obtain information, which can raise legal and ethical concerns.

To ensure that interrogation is conducted in a fair and legally appropriate manner, many jurisdictions have established rules and procedures governing the conduct of interrogations, such as requiring the presence of a lawyer or other advocate during questioning, limiting the use of certain interrogation techniques, and providing clear guidelines for the treatment of suspects and witnesses during questioning. These rules and procedures are intended to balance the need for effective law enforcement with protecting individual rights and due process under the law.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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