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Be careful about answering questions if the police stop your car

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2022 | Criminal Law |

If the police pull you over when driving, they suspect you have broken the law and are looking to charge you.

You need to keep your cool and avoid giving them information that could help them charge you. If you want to say nothing, that is your legal right, and as odd as it might feel to ignore police questions, they cannot force you to speak.

You may prefer to say something simple such as “I wish to exercise my right to silence and will only speak in the presence of an attorney.” It makes it very clear you have no intention of talking.

I have nothing to hide, so why should I be afraid of speaking?

The police are trained to get information out of people. Once you start a conversation with them, you may find it harder to stop than you think, as they know how to provoke you to say the things they want. For example:

They ask you where you are coming from, and you say you met friend in the local bar. The officer then says, “So you’re admitting you’re drunk then?” You reply, “No, I only had two drinks.”

It seems harmless enough, but you have just given the police the information they need. You have admitted you were drinking, which they may never have known if you stayed silent. They can arrest you once they have probable cause to believe you have committed an offense. Staying silent reduces the chance they get it.

What if you already said something that allowed the police to arrest you for a DUI?

Getting legal help to rerun the stop and conversation may highlight a police error that could lead the court to throw out the DUI charges you face.