How To Talk To The Police

It can be an intimidating experience to be detained or arrested.  Even if you know that you have done nothing wrong, there is something unnerving about being confronted by the police.  Whether you are stopped for a traffic violation, or whether you are being detained — or even arrested — for something more serious, it’s important to know how to talk to the police.  It can prevent you from making incriminating statements (even if you think you have nothing to hide), and it can ensure that you have access to your rights.Here are some basic rules of thumb for talking with the police:

Be Polite and Respectful  

First of all, you should always be polite and respectful.  Do your best to remain calm.  Do not touch the police officer, his or her equipment, or anything else that belongs to him or her.  Touching a police officer, even a canine officer, can be seen as assault, and you could not only be hurt in the process, but also be charged with assaulting an officer — even if you are the one that’s hurt.  You can ask, politely, what the problem is, and you can also ask, politely, if you are being detained or arrested.  If you are not being detained or arrested, you should be able to leave after identifying yourself.  There is no reason, in most cases, to be rude.  It can be hard to keep your emotions in check when you are speaking with the police, especially if you suspect that you are being accused (even indirectly) of a crime that you don’t feel you are guilty of.  However, you need to do what you can to remain in control of your feelings, and avoid rudeness.

Identify Yourself, But Don’t Feel Like You Have to Answer Questions

When asked for identification, you should provide it. Make sure you move slowly, and keep your hands visible as much as possible.  If you have to get into your pocket or purse, or your glove box, to get your identification and other documents, tell the officer what you are doing.  When the officer approaches your car, don’t “get prepared” by getting out your information early. Sit with your hands visible on the wheel.  If you are approached outside the car, make sure your hands can be seen. After providing information about your identity, there is no need to answer questions without your lawyer present.  In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t answer questions without your lawyer.  Even if the officer seems to be engaging you in friendly and casual conversation, it’s best not to answer questions until your legal representative is present.  Respectfully and firmly indicate that you want your lawyer present.  If you are told that you are not being detained or arrested, you can ask if you can leave, and provide contact information for your lawyer, indicating that further information can be obtained by making arrangements with your representative (then make sure you let your lawyer know).  In many cases answering questions can lead to law enforcement officers finding reason to search you or your property, or to take further steps. It’s best to wait until you have a lawyer present — someone who can help you defend your rights — to answer questions.  Remember, officers can’t actually charge you with anything; the prosecutor does that, with recommendations.  Let the police know that you will be happy to help with an investigation, and answer any questions that are pertinent as soon as you have suitable legal representation.  A good lawyer can guide you through the pitfalls and help you avoid getting yourself in bigger trouble.

The firm's criminal practice handles all types of criminal matters including:

Assault,  Violent Crimes,  Drug Crimes,  DUI/DWIs,  Juvenile Crimes,  Larceny,  Domestic Violence,  and Motor Vehicle Violations 

Criminal Defense Attorney

When you are facing a criminal charge in Connecticut and are concerned of the impact it will have on your liberty and livelihood you should hire a criminal defense attorney as early as possible in your case.  Every defendant wants the most favorable sentence or to have their case dismissed entirely.  To reach these goals, you will need a lawyer who is devoted to representing you and who will fight to preserve your freedom, criminal record, and reputation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The content of this webpage is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as legal opinion on any matter. No attorney-client relationship is implied or created by the information found on this website. Those with legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney.