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You don’t have to answer questions during a traffic stop

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Do you feel nervous during a traffic stop? You may simply be nervous about any interaction with the police. They want to ask you questions, and you may be worried about saying the wrong thing, incriminating yourself or accidentally causing an arrest. You just want the interaction to go smoothly.

One important thing to remember is that you don’t actually have to answer most questions during a traffic stop. The police officer may ask you if you’ve had anything to drink or if you know how fast you were driving. They may simply ask you where you’re going or where you’re coming from. 

You do not have to provide any answers to these questions, and you can exercise your right to remain silent. You also have a right to a lawyer during an interrogation, so you can inform the officer that you’d be willing to answer more questions only with your lawyer present.

Why do police ask these questions?

Police officers will often try to get drivers to incriminate themselves. The officer wants you to admit that you were drinking, for instance, because they then have that admission on record. They can use it as evidence if you wind up facing drunk driving charges.

Is there anything you need to provide?

Yes, you typically do have to provide some form of identification. Show the officer your driver’s license, your vehicle’s registration and proof that you have proper insurance on that vehicle. But beyond that, remember that you don’t have to answer any further questions.

What if you get arrested?

You may be arrested during the traffic stop. If so, just remember that you do have rights and you need to know what criminal defense options you have at your disposal.