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5 things you should never say to a law enforcement officer

If a law enforcement officer stops you on suspicion of speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol, what should you say—or more to the point, what should you not say?

Mind your manners whenever you interact with a law enforcement officer. Here are five things you should never say.

1. Do not ask why law enforcement stopped you

Let the officer take the lead and explain the reason for pulling you over. Do not ask why he or she stopped you since this could make you seem aggressive. You do not want to set a negative tone.

2. Avoid saying anything rude

You may feel you can exercise your first amendment rights and say anything you want to an officer of the law. However, the officer could interpret anything rude or insulting as an opportunity to incite a fight, which could lead to your arrest.

3. Do not challenge the officer to frisk you

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects a U.S. citizen from unreasonable searches. However, if an officer believes you may be armed, he or she can pat down your clothing. Save your right to challenge the legality of the frisk for the courtroom.

4. Skip making a confession

Innocent people often confess to crimes they did not commit. Even if you are guilty of the reason for your arrest, making a confession to an officer may adversely affect the outcome of your case.

5. Avoid saying anything unnecessary

Any interaction with a law enforcement officer can make you nervous. Keep in mind that the officer can use anything you say against you and a simple traffic stop can become a search of your vehicle and your person. Your attorney will advise you not to say anything to an officer that is not absolutely necessary.

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