Remain Silent or Hurt Yourself

Remain Silent When Stopped

Can I remain silent when the police stop me? The question comes up all the time about how much you have to say to the police when you are stopped. The answer is you really do not have to say anything.

Driver’s License and Proof of Insurance

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.

No Arrest, No Miranda

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 is where you are going. That will lead t where you are coming from. Again, the officer has no right to know this information.

It Is Natural to Want to Talk

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.

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.

No Search Without Probable Cause

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 weed 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 weed is found it may be impossible to prove that you knew it was there, unless you say you knew about it.

The Solution

The solution to the problem is to just say that you do not want to answer any questions and be polite about it. You have the right to remain silent. Use it.

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