Is It Smart to Talk to the Police?
“Do I have to talk to the police when they question me?” I get that question all the time.
The answer is you really do not have to say anything. But do it respectfully.
What To Do If You Are Stopped
If you are stopped when you are driving, you are required to produce your driver’s license and proof of insurance. But you do not have to answer any questions.
Many times an officer will ask you if you know why you were stopped. That is sometimes just an attempt to get you talking. All you have to do is politely say that you are not going to answer any questions.
I recognize how difficult it is not to say anything. There is a natural tendency to want to answer the questions because you are afraid that if you don’t the officer will think you are up to something.
No Miranda Warnings Needed
You are not under arrest at that time and the officer does not have to give you any Miranda warnings, at least not yet.
Another question that is frequently asked by police when you are stopped is where you are going? That will lead to where you are coming from? Again, the officer has no right to know this information. You do not have to talk to the police under any circumstances.
If you are not doing anything wrong, then you really do not have anything to worry about. If you are violating some law, you are putting yourself at risk by talking.
Why Say “Yes” If You Do?
Police seem to always ask young people if they have anything in the car that is illegal or that the officer should know about. If you do have some contraband in the car, why would you say so? If the officer thinks there is probable cause that you do, there will be a search anyway. But depending on where the contraband is found it may be impossible to prove that you knew it was there, unless you say you knew about it.
The solution to the problem is to just say that you do not want to answer any questions and be polite about it. There is no law that says you have to talk to the police. You have the right to remain silent. Use it.