You are under no obligation to tell the police anything. Police may intimate that it would be better for you if you talk to them. If they have enough evidence to arrest you they will if you talk to them or not. People believe they’ll be better if they answer the police officer’s questions people usually end up providing the police with information they may not have had before. You probably won’t be able to talk your way out of being arrested if the police have evidence against you.
If you have been stopped by the police, be courteous and treat them with respect. Whether in a vehicle or not, keep your hands where the officer can see them and, when asked, identify yourself. Do NOT offer any information that could lead the officer to believe, or to confirm, you may have violated the law.
In Miranda v. Arizona, the United States Supreme Court held that before police may question a person in custody, they must advise the person of certain rights. These rights, commonly called the Miranda Rights, are now generally as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say may be used against you.
- You have a right to have a lawyer present while you are questioned.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.
Remember that Miranda is limited to custodial interrogation. If you are not in police custody, such as in conversation on the street or over the telephone, the police can generally question you without reading your rights. And if you are in custody, but spontaneously volunteer statements (not in response to questioning), the police can write down your words and use them against you in court.
Contact Mark Herman for a free initial consultation.