Can I get myself into trouble if I stay silent during a traffic stop?

You were about to go through the Midtown Tunnel when an officer pulled you over. It was a Friday night, and you were coming home from a friend’s house. Although you weren’t intoxicated, you did have a few drinks and were concerned the officer may smell the alcohol on you.

As the officer approached your vehicle, you remembered hearing that you should stay silent during such traffic stops. However, you wonder if you really should.

Do You Really Have the Right to Remain Silent?

You can’t imagine not answering any of the police officer’s questions, but you know that what you say will be used against you. Will your plan of silence backfire? Here, we take a look.

  • Silence is often perceived as guilt. If you fail to talk to a police officer, you may give off suspicion that you are guilty, especially if you are asked to participate in a field sobriety test. The officer may believe that you are too intoxicated to talk in the tests and may then arrest you on suspicion of driving while under the influence.
  • Not speaking may anger the officer. Failing to answer the officer may come off as ignoring him and that could make him angry. This anger may cause him to find a reason to arrest you.

What Should You Do?

If you believe that answering an officer’s question will lead to an admission of guilt, you can simply say you don’t think it is an appropriate time to talk about the matter and that you wish to speak with your attorney first. Staying polite is important, and so is not saying anything that can be used to indicate guilt.

Having an experienced attorney on your side is your best bet in a criminal law situation. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you with your matter. Contact us today to learn how.