Can You Legally Refuse to Answer a Police Officer’s Question?
Being stopped and questioned by a police officer can be stressful, especially if you are not aware of your rights. But if you have ever heard about your right to remain silent, then this only means that you have the right not to answer the question of the police officer.
Your Right To Remain Silent
The “right to remain silent” is one of the most well-known rights. Although it will depend on the circumstance, most of the time, you can use this right and not get arrested.
If you are a suspect of a crime and an officer tells you that they are going to arrest you, they must inform you about your rights. These are your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
Police will usually not let you know that you can remain silent unless they are charging you for a criminal offense. In cases where police stop you and start questioning you, and you know that you did not commit any crime, then you can assert your right to remain silent.
Information You Should Only Give:
While a police officer can’t arrest you for refusing to answer their questions, you are required to give them your personal information. These include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Who you live with
Only these pieces of information should be given to the police when you are being questioned. Unless you already have a present attorney, then you can ask for all the questioning to stop.
Don’t Give False Information.
Lying to a cop is a criminal offense. Falsifying information such as providing a wrong name can get you arrested. Remaining silent is better than lying to a police officer.
Can A Police Officer Arrest You For Your Silence?
Your silence alone can’t get you arrested. But, if the police officer suspects you for a crime, then they can arrest you, regardless of your silence.
In situations like this, it is still better to remain silent until a lawyer represents you. Remember, anything you say can, and usually will be used against you.
About The Author
Franchette Agatha Jardin believes that everyone has the capacity to help those who are in need. She writes blogs about issues and news surrounding those in prison in the hopes of restoring a little extra faith in humanity.