Talking to police officers can bring about mixed feelings in some Texas residents. If an officer stops your vehicle, you may wonder whether you have to answer any questions posed to you. Because police officers can often make individuals feel intimidated, you may think that answering any questions truthfully will lessen the likelihood of an officer charging you with a crime.
While the truth typically is a good option, it is important to remember that police officers can sometimes take even innocent-seeming answers and use them against you. For example, if an officer asks where you have been, you may not think twice about saying you went out with friends. However, the officer may then ask if you had any alcoholic beverages, which could lead to additional questions about drinking and possibly bring up suspicion of DUI.
What do you have to answer?
Remembering that you have the right to remain silent can often work in your best interests. Even if an officer has not placed you under arrest or read you your Miranda Rights, you can still choose to invoke this right. However, if an officer did stop your vehicle, you may have an obligation to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Additionally, in any given situation, you may have to provide your name to an officer if asked, but you do not have to answer other questions.
You may think it could look bad to clam up in front of a police officer, but remember, the court can use anything you say against you. As a result, it may work in your interests to remain silent.
Your right to an attorney
Just as you have the right to remain silent, you also have the right to an attorney. You can speak with an attorney before answering questions posed to you by police officers. You do not have to know an attorney in order to speak with one, but having that information just in case could prove useful.
In the event that you do face criminal charges, you may need more information on your rights and options for handling such an ordeal. Fortunately, your legal counsel can walk you through every aspect of your case and help you determine what courses of action may allow you to work toward the most favorable outcomes possible.