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What not to say when a police officer questions you

It can be intimidating when a police officer knocks on your door or turns on the lights behind your car when you are on the road. Sometimes, nerves and anxiety can sometimes cause people to say things they should not. For this reason, it is best to remain silent until speaking to legal counsel. If you do choose to talk, be sure to at least avoid saying these things.

1. “I only had one drink, officer.”

If a police officer asks if you have been drinking, it is best to refrain from answering, and admit nothing. By law, you only need to provide identification information to law enforcement when they pull you over while driving. For other questions, politely say you would like to speak to a lawyer before answering further.

2. “I do/do not think so…”

Although you may be uncertain about an answer and think it is safer to say, “I do or do not think so,” this phrase can still have legal implications. Regardless of your intentions, it can still send a message to police officers that may not be what you intend. Again, silence is best until you can speak with legal help.

3. “I was doing something and accidentally hit him/her.”

If someone calls the police and accuses you of hitting another person, do not try to explain the situation, even if the action was entirely accidental. Instead, if a police officer questions you, politely say you would like to speak to an attorney before discussing more.

Police questioning can be scary if you are unprepared. Avoiding responses such as these can help you avoid self-incrimination.



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