SHOULD I TALK TO THE COPS OR GIVE STATEMENTS TO THE COPS?
Being stopped by the cops or coming into contact with the cops can be a pretty scary situation. It can happen as part of a number of different scenarios. It can happen as part of a traffic stop where you are eventually charged with violating a traffic law. Or, it can happen when your friend (the driver of the car in which you are riding) is stopped by the cops and your friend (the driver of the car) is eventually charged with violating a traffic law. Or, the cops can come to your house to talk to you about a situation or even perhaps, stop you on the street as you are walking. No matter the situation where you find yourself in contact with the cops, you can't help but wonder what you should do and how you should handle and conduct yourself. More importantly, you can't help but wonder whether you should talk to the cops or give the cops a statement, if asked to do so. I will shed some light on these concerns in this article.
Talking Depends Upon The Facts: Whether you should talk to the cops, answer their questions and give a statement, if asked to do so, depends upon the facts. What I mean here is: Are you a suspect? Do the cops think you have violated the law or committed a crime? Most likely, you will know the answer to this once the cops start talking to you.
In Doubt, Don't Talk: When in doubt, I suggest that you shouldn't talk to the cops and give them statements without an attorney present. If you find yourself in this situation, politely tell the cops you don't want to talk without an attorney present and ask them for an attorney or for you to have your attorney present.
NO Obligation To Talk: You are not under an "obligation" to talk to the cops or give them a statement. But, you should always remember: Don't be a jerk or rude to the cops. As with all things in life, you can kill a lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar and talking to the cops or dealing with your encounter with the cops is no exception.
You Are Not Always Entitled To An Attorney: If you are not actually under arrest, the cops may not have to let you have an attorney present. But even under this circumstance, you don't need to talk. You can respectfully tell the cops you want to remain silent and not talk.
Cops Try To Get You To Talk: Cops are trained to try and get you to talk. And there is nothing wrong with that. So, you need to be strong in telling them you don't want to talk and stand firm in that resolve.
Nerves or Nervousness Makes Us Talk: When we are nervous, it is natural for us to talk. That is human nature. We do this because talking makes us feel better and more at ease and we talk while we are thinking about what to do or how to handle a situation. When this happens, sometimes, we even ramble on and on. Keep this in mind. Don't let nerves and nervousness get the best of you in your encounter with the cops. They are counting on this and they now that you will most likely talk when you are nervous.
So, in summary, whether you should freely talk to the cops and give them a statement depends upon the fact of your case and whether you are under investigation for the commission of a crime. Be polite. Don't talk when in doubt as to what you should do. You are under no obligation to talk. Cops will try to get you to talk as that is what they are trained to do.