Many people know the experience of being pulled over by police or stopped on the street. The police may ask you questions, and you might not know what to do. It is common for people to make mistakes in these situations, and those mistakes can result in criminal charges or other legal problems.
It is important to understand some of the common mistakes people make in order to protect your rights and avoid problems.
Do not make these mistakes
Some of the most common mistakes people make include:
- Talking to the police: Don’t do it. The police can demand your name and contact information, but that is all you must give them. Do not explain things. Do not argue with the police officer. Be polite but firm while exercising your right to remain silent. The right to remain silent, as well the right to legal counsel, stemmed from Miranda vs. Arizona, where the Supreme Court ultimately ruled that evidence cannot be used in a custodial interrogation unless the police officer informed the defendant that he or she has the right to remain silent. Per that case, people being interrogated also have the right to an attorney, and the right to know that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law.
- Taking the field sobriety tests: Most people think that refusing to take field sobriety tests would hurt them, but this is a mistake. Most of the time, the physical conditions of the field sobriety tests are far from ideal: You’re on the side of a busy road, on uneven ground, in the dark, at night. Many people would perform badly on these tests even if they were cold sober.
- Not talking to their lawyer: Many people try to handle these matters on their own. They may put their trust in the criminal justice system in spite of the fact that it is not built to help them and has no one there charged with protecting their rights and interests. When you exercise your right to remain silent, you should also exercise the right to legal counsel and call a criminal defense lawyer you can trust to guide you through the process.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes people make when questioned by the police. If you avoid talking to the police, decline field sobriety tests, and contact an attorney right away, you will be in a much better position to protect yourself and your future.