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Should you talk to the police during a traffic stop?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2023 | DUI

If you get pulled over by a police officer, they’re likely going to have some questions for you. They may ask you where you are going, if you have been drinking, where you are coming from, if you know how fast you were driving or something else of this nature.

But do you actually have to answer these questions? A lot of people do because the police are in a position of authority and so they feel like they have no choice. But that is usually not true, and you can decide if you want to answer the questions or not.

Providing identification

It is important to note that you can’t just ignore the police officer completely. You do have to provide identification when asked, in the form of a driver’s license, proving that you are allowed to operate the vehicle. You may also have to provide the registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle. If the officer asks you for these, you should provide the documentation.

But beyond that, you’re not obligated to answer any questions. Even if you haven’t been drinking, for instance, you don’t have to tell the officer that. If you do know how fast you were going, you don’t have to admit that you were breaking the speed limit. You can simply use your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. It may even be helpful to inform the police that you’d be happy to talk with your legal team at your side, but you don’t want to answer questions without representation. That is within your rights.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested. You just need to make sure you know what legal steps to take if you are.

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