Written by Canterbury Law Group

Do I Have to Talk to the Police

Do I Have to Talk to the Police

A primary role of a police officer is to make arrests. Many even have arrest goals! Often if you are approached by an officer it is likely the officer will have information in assisting them to obtain an arrest. Read on to learn more.

Rules When Speaking With Police Officers

  • Issues of consent. You are not obliged to answer questions or agree to a search if you are not suspected of a crime. But if you do consent, the data provided may be used against others (or yourself.) When you agree to a search or to be questioned, remember you may always withdraw your consent and there is no concept of speaking to the police in an unofficial or ‘off the record” manner.
  • Failure to produce ID when requested by the Police is illegal in most states and is mandatory when you are pulled over for a traffic stop.
  • An officer may question you without reading you your Miranda rights. Therefore, this info may be used against you. Miranda rights only have to be read to a person when they are in custody and are under interrogation.
  • You may always delay answering questions when to are not in custody – by asking the officer to return later.
  • If you think you may be implicated in a crime, silence may be a very good idea until you have spoken to an attorney. Silence cannot be used against you in court.

Rights At Traffic Stops And Checkpoints

  • When a police officer thinks you are guilty of a traffic offense. They may arrest you and even frisk your passengers, especially if the officer suspects they may have a weapon.
  • The officer may not perform a search unless they have a “reasonable belief” there is criminal evidence or weapons in the vehicle. The officer cannot use a traffic stop as a reason for a search that is extensive. The officer will need probable cause.
  • A police officer may be allowed to search a vehicle without a warrant in the event of an accident.
  • At legal checkpoints as long as police follow all the legal procedures they may stop and question drivers for specific purposes.

Your Rights At Home

  • When a police officer wants to visit your home to ask questions – you are not obliged to admit the officer or answer questions. You do not have to agree to any searches unless the officer has a search warrant.
  • Sometimes you will want to speak with a police officer. When a police officer enters your home and they see any evidence of criminal activity. The material may be seized.
  • In an emergency the officer can enter residences. for example, if they are following a suspect who may enter the residence or when an officer hears screams and shouts for assistance.

Source: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/defendants-rights/dealing-with-police.htm

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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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