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Do I Have to Answer Police Questions? Criminal Law

Do I Have to Answer Police Questions?

1 month ago by Brian
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Most of us have heard what’s called the “Miranda rights” many times on TV shows and movies. To refresh your memory, here are your Miranda rights if you are arrested:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?” 

The police are required by law to say this to you if you are arrested. 

To clarify the first sentence, no, you do not have to answer any of the questions asked to you by a police officer or detective. If you look at the second sentence of the Miranda warning, it makes it clear that if you do answer the police officer’s questions, the district attorney can use your answers as evidence against you in your criminal trial. You might not realize that the police officer is wearing a body camera or that you are being recorded at the police station, but it is very likely that you are. 

It is always best to advise the police you would like to invoke your rights to remain silent and contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney first. 

How Police Officers Intimidate Arrestees

Even if a police officer has no ill intentions, their mere presence can be very intimidating for most people, especially in a situation where you are being questioned. After the famous Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, the law was changed so that police officers had to inform people of their rights upon being arrested. However, the police are under no obligation to inform people of other rights they have. 

For example, if you get pulled over, and the police officer asks you to show them inside your trunk, you can say no. The officer needs a search warrant to see inside your trunk. However, day after day, drivers feel intimidated, unsure of their rights, and voluntarily show their trunks to cops. People get arrested every day when cops find illicit substances in their trunks that they were under no obligation to show. Don’t be intimidated! Know your rights.

Shouldn’t I Be Cooperative?

One of the most common police tactics when someone has been arrested is to pressure them into talking by saying that they aren’t being cooperative. You may even be told that if you “cooperate,” they will do you a favor, go easy on you, or make you a deal. To exercise your rights is not being uncooperative. Stay calm and just wait for your criminal defense lawyer

Contact Our St. Paul Criminal Defense Attorneys Now

The St. Paul criminal defense attorneys at JS Defense are available 24 hours a day. If you are arrested anytime, please contact our offices for immediate assistance. We can meet you at the police station and help you communicate lawfully with the police. Contact our office to find out if we can help you today. 


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