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Silence Is Golden: Exercising Your Miranda Rights When Stopped By Police

You’re pulled over by a police officer for speeding, and the officer begins to ask questions that leave you feeling uneasy. Do you answer truthfully and risk self-incrimination, or exercise your right to remain silent? 

In today’s world, it’s crucial that you understand your Miranda Rights and how they can protect you when stopped by police. Silence truly is golden, and exercising your right to remain silent when you are pulled over is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from self-incrimination.

What Are Your Miranda Rights?

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens from self-incrimination. This means that when you are questioned by law enforcement, you have the right to remain silent.You do not have to answer any questions and can decline to do so until you have an experienced traffic attorney present. 

If you are questioned during a routine traffic stop, you are required to provide your name, address, and proof of insurance. Beyond that, however, you should say as little as possible to avoid accidental self-incrimination. Remaining silent in these situations is the best course of action, as anything you say can be used against you in court. If you choose to answer the officer’s questions, be aware that law enforcement may twist your words or misrepresent what you said in order to incriminate you. It is always best to have an attorney present before speaking with police. 

If you are pulled over for a suspected traffic violation and the officer asks if you know why she stopped you, it is best to remain silent and simply hand over your license and registration. If you say something like “I was speeding,” this statement can be used as evidence against you in traffic court. 

Politely Decline To Answer The Officer’s Questions Before Consulting An Attorney

If you are stopped by the police or arrested, law enforcement may read you your Miranda Rights, but even if they don’t, your right to remain silent still applies. In practice, this means that you can and should politely decline to respond to the officer’s questions. If the officer suspects that you may be intoxicated, they may ask you if you have been drinking. You do not – and should not – answer this question. Doing so could be interpreted as an admission of guilt in any future OWI/DUI charges brought against you.

Your best course of action in response to police questioning during a traffic stop is to calmly and respectfully assert your right to remain silent. It is crucial that you consult with an experienced Illinois attorney before speaking with police so that they can advise you on what questions to answer and what information may incriminate you.