Having the police stop you can be an unsettling occasion, especially if it is the first time they have done so. Understanding what you do and don’t have to do can help the situation go more smoothly and reduce the chance of further consequences. First, let’s be clear here: When the police stop you, they are not doing it to engage in some light-hearted conversation. Typically, they think they have something on you and want to see if they are right or get some evidence to back their theory up.
Anything you say could help them charge you with a crime
You are obligated to give them your name and address if they ask. But you do not need to tell them anything more than that. So, if they ask where you’ve been or where you are going, you don’t need to tell them. If they ask you if you’ve been drinking, you don’t need to answer, and so on.Using drinking as an example. The moment you say you’ve come from a party or had a drink at the local bar, it gives the police reason to think you may be over the legal limit. It makes it more likely they ask you to perform some tests, which in turn, makes it more likely you end up arrested.
Won’t they be suspicious if I refuse to answer?
Maybe they will or maybe they’ll just think here is someone who knows their legal rights. Either way, you have the right to remain silent and a court cannot hold that against you. It’s important to note that just staying quiet won’t stop their questioning. To do that, you need to tell the police officer out loud that you are invoking your right to remain silent. If you end up arrested anyway, you need to use another of your rights – that of getting legal help.