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Old Today, 01:14 AM   #1
Ro_Laren
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If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For ‘Em?

I was watching an old Big Bang Theory episode that was guest starring Stan Lee. After Penny gets Stan Lee’s address she brings Sheldon to Stan’s house so that he can ask for an autograph. Stan Lee gets mad after Sheldon enters his house after confusing sarcasm for an invitation to come in. When Stan yells at his wife to call the cops, Penny immediately runs away from Stan’s house.

This made me wonder: if someone calls the police on you, regardless of whether or not you did something illegal, are you legally obliged to stay and wait for the police? Or is it okay to leave? Do the laws vary by state? Technically, Penny just rang Stan’s doorbell, but it could be argued that she was trespassing on his property by walking up to his door.
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Old Today, 01:39 AM   #2
Ar-Pharazon
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

Yeah, I guess it would depend on how you got in the house and if you were asked to leave.

Does the property have No Trespassing signs?

I know someone who was in their bank about an overdraft fee. He got pretty upset, was asked to leave and eventually got arrested for Disturbing The Peace and Trespassing (assumedly because he was asked to leave).
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Old Today, 01:59 AM   #3
Ro_Laren
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

In the episode, Penny never entered the house: only Sheldon did. She just walked up the driveway, walked onto his porch, rang the doorbell, and talked to him for two seconds. Stan was annoyed that they were even there asking for an autograph, but didn't tell his wife to call the cops until Sheldon entered Stan's house after mistaking a sarcastic invitation to watch a Lakers game on TV as a real invitation.

Regardless about the details of the episode, it is an interesting question: are you legally obliged to wait for the cops if someone calls them on you.
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Old Today, 02:05 AM   #4
Gov Kodos
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

I shouldn't think so. Particularly here, where Stan wanted them off off his property their leaving would not be a problem. Unless they damaged something or stole something, leaving shouldn't pose a problem.
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Old Today, 02:21 AM   #5
USS Triumphant
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

I'm not a lawyer, and even if I'm right, criminal trespass might be an exception, but generally speaking otherwise, one might be better served to wait quietly and peacefully for the police. Leaving the scene makes you look guilty, and gives anyone who might want to fake additional "evidence" against you the opportunity to do so without you seeing what they're doing.
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Old Today, 04:29 AM   #6
Tosk
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

Staying is a good idea if you're innocent, but that doesn't mean you have a legal obligation to stay.

I once called the cops because someone used a 1 for the word one and a U for the word you.
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Old Today, 04:33 AM   #7
J. Allen
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

Ro_Laren wrote: View Post
I was watching an old Big Bang Theory episode that was guest starring Stan Lee. After Penny gets Stan Lee’s address she brings Sheldon to Stan’s house so that he can ask for an autograph. Stan Lee gets mad after Sheldon enters his house after confusing sarcasm for an invitation to come in. When Stan yells at his wife to call the cops, Penny immediately runs away from Stan’s house.

This made me wonder: if someone calls the police on you, regardless of whether or not you did something illegal, are you legally obliged to stay and wait for the police? Or is it okay to leave? Do the laws vary by state? Technically, Penny just rang Stan’s doorbell, but it could be argued that she was trespassing on his property by walking up to his door.
If you leave, they will come to your home.
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Old Today, 10:34 AM   #8
shivkala
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

Over the years there have been many stories of customers at Best Buy, who have been detained by Best Buy staff for accusations of theft. One such story is here. The discussion usually turns to whether or not Best Buy has the right to detain you, as they cannot formally charge you with theft.

Someone in the link I provided mentioned that in California, at least, you can't be accused of stealing, until you've actually exited the store with the merchandise, so in this case, leaving before the police show up could cause you to be in bigger trouble.

On the other hand, the police will arrest you if you leave the scene of an accident. So, in theory, you could be innocent (the other person could be 100% at fault), but if you leave before the police arrive, you could end up being arrested. So, I'm not sure if that extends to all issues, or just car accidents.
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Old Today, 12:10 PM   #9
Ar-Pharazon
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Re: If Some1 Calls the Cops On U Do U Legally Have to Stay & Wait For

If Best Buy (or any other retailer) "detains" you, they're probably just asking you to come to the back with them, or come back into the store.

Most store have policies forbidding their employees to physically stop a suspected shoplifter, mainly because of liability issues if either person get injured.

Of course, that doesn't stop some employees from tackling potential thieves.
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