Knowing how to respond to police questioning can be difficult. Often, police officers are aggressive when interrogating, and it can be easy for individuals to feel anxious and pressured. As a result, people sometimes say things that make their situations worse.
If you are facing possible criminal charges, the best way to avoid unintentional self-incrimination is to know your rights when it comes to law enforcement questioning.
You have the right to remain silent
In the United States, the “Miranda warning” is a constitutional right that requires law enforcement to give individuals certain warnings during an arrest. One of the most valuable of these warnings is that you have the right to remain silent. This is because the court can use anything you say against you.
You must provide some information
Although the law protects you against having to answer questions, there are two exceptions for providing information to the police. These include giving law enforcement your name and if you are driving, your vehicle insurance and registration information.
You have the right to a lawyer
If you encounter a situation where you feel pressed to give information despite your desire to remain silent, tell the officer that you would like to exercise your right to a lawyer before answering any questions beyond self-identification. This is another right that the Miranda warning guarantees.
Knowing how to respond to police questioning can help you avoid making difficult legal situations worse for yourself. In general, it is best to remain silent until you have the opportunity to speak with a legal representative.