Sat. Jul 4th, 2020

Clarifying Your Right To Remain Silent

2 min read

While you may know about your right to remain silent, in the heat of the moment when an officer is questioning you, you may not know what you can and cannot do. Not understanding the right fully can put you at risk of providing information law enforcement will use against you.

What You Must Do

According to the ACLU, If an officer stops you, you do not have to provide him or her with your name, even if he or she asks you. If it is a traffic stop, you do have to hand over documentation, such as your driver’s license and vehicle registration, but you do not have to speak. If the officer asks you any questions, you can politely refuse to answer and revoke your right to remain silent. Make sure you state that you wish to use this right so that the officer cannot claim you were hostile or refused to cooperate.

What You Do Not Have To Do

You do not have to answer any questions an officer asks you, and you should not. It is common for officers to ask if you know why they pulled you over during a traffic stop. You should not answer either way. Even if you are under arrest, you do not have to answer any questions. You should seek out an attorney, though, to help you with upholding your rights and understanding the civil rights law Des Moines IA.

One Note

You should never provide officers with false information. It is fine to not answer, but do not lie to them about your identity or anything else. It is much better to stay quiet.

Stand Up for Your Rights

While officers may act like they want what is best for you, the goal is always for them to get to the bottom of things. They may even want to find you guilty of doing something. You are the only one that can protect yourself in these situations, so use your right to remain silent.

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