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Do I Have to Answer a Police Officer’s Questions?


Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you are protected from providing to law enforcement information that might incriminate yourself. That means that you can refuse to answer questions a police officer asks you.

Generally, this protection is associated with Miranda rights, which is when the police inform you that “you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Officers are required to read you this warning when they arrest and interrogate you. During police questioning, you can invoke your constitutional right and politely refuse to provide any answers.

Being arrested can be a stressful situation, and you may want to prove your innocence by giving officers an account of your side of the story. If you answer questions or make statements during the interrogation, even after you have informed officers that you were going to remain quiet, anything you say can be used as evidence against you during a trial. This can also include statements you made during what seemed like innocent small talk.

However, if the officer failed to read your Miranda rights, statements that you made during questioning may not be admissible in court. Regardless, it is always best to have a lawyer present before you provide information to law enforcement officials.

Although officers are only required to read the Miranda warning if they have detained you, you still have the right to remain silent if police stop you on the street and have not made an arrest. If you believe the police are questioning you because they suspect that you have been involved in criminal activity, you can politely refuse to provide any information. However, you are required to give your name to officers if they ask. You must also show the officer your driver’s license if you are pulled over for a traffic violation.

Contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella – Your First Consultation Is Free

Before answering a police officer’s questions, speak with a skilled lawyer who can inform you of your rights and help prevent you from making self-incriminating statements. Backed by over 20 years of legal experience, our attorney knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and will provide sound advice if you are facing criminal accusations. We will work hard to ensure your constitutional rights are protected.

To schedule a free consultation, call us at (414) 882-8382 or contact us online.

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