Almost everyone gets nervous when stopped by a police officer. During such encounters, you may be tempted to talk your way out of being ticketed or arrested. And while it is best if you are able to remain on as cordial terms as possible, you don't want to say or do anything self-incriminating. You need to remember that you have rights and as such, your cooperativeness does not have to extend to the point of hurting your own cause.
But when under duress, it is all too easy to make a costly mistake while speaking with an officer. So, we offer the following recommendations to keep in mind if you are ever interrogated by the police:
- Do not give an officer permission to search your person, vehicle, home or any other property. To perform a legal search police need either a warrant or probable cause unless you give them the go-ahead to do so.
- Do not make false statements. Lying to a police officer is a form of obstructing justice, for which you face felony charges.
- Do not confess. It is the job of the police and prosecutors to provide proof that you committed a criminal act. Typically, confessing to the police will not help you receive a lighter sentence, despite what they might say.
- Employ your right to remain silent. You are typically under no legal obligation to tell the police anything that could later be used as evidence as a basis for prosecution.
When facing any sort of criminal charge, it is almost always best to have an attorney present before saying or signing anything. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain your options and act on your behalf in an effort to expedite your best possible outcome