Sometimes It's Innocent Conversation, Sometimes It's Not
There are many different scenarios in which people come into contact with the police. Some of which are totally innocent and shouldn't be cause for any concern. For example, you bump into an officer at a local restaurant and strike up a conversation or you run into one at a local community event and begin to talk.
In each of those scenarios a person should have nothing to fear and should feel comfortable talking to the police. Those scenarios generally are not the type that would give a person pause and make them wonder whether or not it's a good idea for them to answer the officer's questions.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Rights?
The type of scenario that should give you pause nearly always begins with the police ordering you to stop. Whether it's a traffic stop, a stop on the street or even being asked to come to the station just to "answer a few questions," all of those scenarios could end poorly for you. This next few blog articles are tailored specifically to traffic stops and in particular, DUI traffic stops.
During a DUI traffic stop, the officer will ask you several seemingly harmless and insignificant questions. If you've been stopped and the officer starts asking you question about where you are coming from, if you had anything to drink that night, or related questions, understand that you're not just having a conversation, you're being questioned. Why? Most times you're being questioned because the officer is investigating you. You need to be aware when the conversation is no longer innocent and you have the right to protect yourself in this situation by refusing to answer certain questions.
Stay tuned for a detailed blog next week regarding what you should do if the police officer starts questioning you. If you have any questions about how to interact with the police in this type of scenario, reach out to our Prince George's County criminal lawyers.