Tips for Handling Police Questioning
Police officers frequently begin questioning potential suspects immediately upon initial contact. Questioning does not necessarily indicate that anyone is detained or arrested. Does that mean that you do not have to cooperate with the cops? In short, you have the right to remain silent, at least initially. There are pieces of information that are pertinent, and you should share with the questioning officer; however, you do not necessarily need to share any other information beyond those initial questions.
What Is Initially Required
Maintaining a polite demeanor throughout the experience often goes a long way toward helping your case. Being polite does not mean helping them build a case against you, however. If you are in a public place, the only information you are required to give is your name; which is only valid if the officer suspects you have committed or are committing a crime and they announce themselves as police personnel. Cops may also ask you to give your address and a reason for your behavior. You do not have to answer either of those questions legally.
Your Fifth Amendment Rights
The Fifth Amendment guarantees your right to remain silent, because if you speak, anything you say, “can and will be used against you.” The Fifth Amendment states that you will never have to witness against yourself and you have the right to due process. Just because you do not want to answer does not mean that the officers will not continue to ask questions in an attempt to elicit a response. Some tried-and-true responses to avoid questions without being disrespectful include:
- “I refuse to answer your questions.”
- “I would like my attorney present.”
- “I wish to remain silent.”
What Behaviors to Avoid
Although you have the right to remain silent, you do not have the right to refuse to obey an order given by the officer. For instance, while you may refuse to answer a question, you cannot remain in your vehicle after an officer told you to step out. Running from or evading police is also not advisable.
Always Ask for an Attorney
Even if you begin by answering police questions, you can stop at any time. In fact, anything you say to the police can make it more difficult for your attorney to defend your rights down the road. Therefore, it is essential that you ask to speak to a DuPage County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC will dedicate their resources, expertise, and knowledge toward defending your rights and earning you the best possible outcome. Call us today at 630-580-6373 to schedule an initial consultation.