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If you get pulled over, the officer may try to get you to incriminate yourself

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Getting pulled over by the police can be stressful. You want the interaction to go smoothly, but you also don’t want to say the wrong thing.

One thing to keep in mind is that police officers may try to get you to incriminate yourself during a traffic stop. They will ask leading questions to get you to “admit” your guilt.

For example, the officer may ask you if you know how fast you are going. Their goal is to get you to acknowledge that you were intentionally breaking the speed limit so they can give you a ticket. Or the officer may ask you if you’ve had anything to drink today. If you admit that you had a drink, even if it was hours ago and you are no longer under the influence, they may just want to use that as evidence against you after an arrest.

What should you do?

The best thing to do, in many cases, is just to give noncommittal answers or not answer the questions at all. You do have a right to remain silent. The police officer can ask you if you know how fast you were going as many times as they want, but you never have to answer that question. All you actually have to do is present your driver’s license, your proof of insurance and the vehicle’s registration.

That said, directly refusing to answer may make your situation more complex because the officer will believe you are being argumentative. This is why noncommittal answers like “I’m not sure” are sometimes better while accomplishing the same basic goal.

If you do end up getting arrested, then it’s important to understand all of your criminal defense options.