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Why it is often best not to answer a police officer’s questions

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If you’re being arrested or detained, the police may attempt to interrogate you or at least ask you questions. They sometimes do this very aggressively, but it could also be casual. For instance, an officer who pulls over your vehicle may ask you if you’ve had anything to drink today.

In many cases, it’s best to exercise your right to remain silent. Remember that you almost never have to answer the questions a police officer is asking. You can always use your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Even if you want to answer the questions, for example, you could tell the officer that you’ll be happy to do so as soon as you have your legal team at your side.

Incriminating yourself

The reason you don’t want to answer questions is because you may accidentally incriminate yourself. You can make your legal situation much worse than it would be otherwise.

For example, say that the officer believes you are driving under the influence. You did have a drink at lunch, but that was eight hours ago. It’s not affecting your driving at the moment.

But if the officer asks you if you’ve had anything to drink today, you may honestly reply that yes, you have. This complicates your situation because the officer may claim you failed field sobriety tests or caused a car accident and then admitted to drinking, so they make a drunk driving arrest with your “confession” on record. 

People often think that they can just talk their way out of a situation and that answering questions will make things go more smoothly. But the opposite can actually be true, and that’s why it’s so critical that you understand exactly what legal steps you should take.