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Must you speak to the police?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2021 | Criminal Defense

With so many criminal dramas on tv and in film, it can be difficult for Mississippi residents to discern what’s fact and fiction when it comes to their rights. Many residents have various misunderstandings when it comes to speaking to the police. It’s important to understand what your rights are so that you can choose what action is within your best interest.

When do you have to speak to the police?

Ask any criminal defense lawyer and they can reveal that, most of the time, speaking to the police is completely optional. The police may ask you questions regarding a crime, and it is completely up to you whether or not you want to answer them or choose to remain silent. In most cases, it’s beneficial to refer questions from the police to your attorney to ensure that they are answered in a way that is in your best interest.

What are the exceptions?

While most of the time you do not have to speak to the police, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. First, states who have a stop and identify law require that you provide a police officer with identifying information. In most places, this is going to be your name and address. The police may only ask you for this information if they have reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed or will commit a crime. The second exception is if you’re being pulled over, as you will be required to hand your driver’s license and proof of insurance to an officer.

While interacting with the police may be a scary situation for you, it’s important to understand what your rights are. It’s always advisable to speak to your attorney and have them be the middleman between you and the police.