Interrogation Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Interrogation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Interrogation?

It refers to the questioning by the officers of law like police, to the suspect arrested for a crime. The suspect must be informed of his/her legal rights and needs failing which all the evidence gathered by the Police, will not be considered as evidence in trial.

History and Meaning of Interrogation

Interrogation has been used as a method to extract information for centuries. The word "interrogation" comes from Latin, and means to "ask." In a legal setting, interrogation refers to the process of questioning a suspect in custody about their involvement in a crime. The goal of an interrogation is to gather information about the crime, such as motive, means, and opportunity, in order to build a case against the suspect.

In the United States, the use of interrogation has been heavily regulated by the courts. Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a suspect has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. This means that the police must inform a suspect of their rights before beginning an interrogation. Failure to do so can result in the suppression of any evidence gathered during the interrogation.

Examples of Interrogation

  1. The police brought in the suspect for questioning about the robbery. During the interrogation, the suspect admitted to being present at the scene of the crime.
  2. The detective used a variety of techniques during the interrogation, including lying to the suspect about evidence and appealing to the suspect's sense of guilt.
  3. The suspect refused to answer any questions during the interrogation and instead requested an attorney.
  4. The interrogation lasted for several hours and was recorded on video for use in trial.
  5. During the interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime and provided details about how it was committed.

Legal Terms Similar to Interrogation

  1. Custodial interrogation - questioning of a suspect who is in police custody and not free to leave.
  2. Miranda warning - the notification given to a suspect of their legal rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
  3. Due process - the legal requirement that all suspects be treated fairly and equally under the law.
  4. Cross-examination - the questioning of a witness by an attorney from the opposing side in a trial.