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Can you interact with the police without incriminating yourself?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2023 | DUI |

When you are accused of a crime, the police will gather more information to support the case. In their investigation, they may interrogate you or request you to submit documents or any other relevant evidence. Should you interact with them? And if you do, won’t you incriminate yourself?

This guide discusses this matter in-depth.

You don’t have to say anything

You can interact with the police and simultaneously refuse to talk or perform a requested action. You can use statements, such as: 

  • “Officer, I don’t wish to answer that without my lawyer.” 
  • “Sir/Ma’am, I’m not comfortable taking the test on the roadside.” 

These statements inform the police that you won’t obstruct their work, but will respectfully decline to respond to questions or requests without your attorney.  

You should avoid volunteering information

The best way to avoid incriminating yourself is by not volunteering information. It will be best to stick to the questions asked. Don’t talk about a matter the police didn’t ask about. 

Of course, this tip should only apply to general questions. You should avoid answering questions that can incriminate you completely with the statements provided above.

Know your rights

It’s crucial to be informed about your rights, as this can save you from situations that can lead to self-incrimination. For instance, you do not need to consent to a search if an officer lacks a warrant, and exercising your right to remain silent cannot be held against you in court.

If you are accused of a crime, you can interact with the police, if necessary, without incriminating yourself while you wait for legal guidance. Whatever the charges, it’s always wisest to have an experienced defense.