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Things You Should Not Say to a Police Officer


Interacting with the police can be a stressful and scary experience. However, while it is natural to feel overwhelmed, you should remain cautious and remember that whatever you say to the police can be used against you. Certain statements can escalate the situation. When interacting with the police, you need to choose your words carefully. There are some things that you should never say to the police. This article shares some advice for interacting with law enforcement officers.

Never Say Anything Rude or Insulting

While an officer cannot arrest you simply for being rude or insulting, statements such as “I pay your salary” or “Do you know who I am?” can aggravate an officer. An officer could claim that you were inciting a fight and arrest you. They could argue that your words gave them a reason to believe you were covering up or committing a crime. Just because you pay taxes does not make you the officer’s employer, and regardless of who you are, you are not above the law. Often, individuals who try being rude to police officers end up in trouble.

Never Make Admissions of Guilt

When you encounter the police, it can be tempting to want to make statements that you think will show cooperation or defuse the situation. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that even minor or partial admissions of guilt can be detrimental to your case. The following are some examples of statements to avoid saying to the police that indicate guilt;

  • “I only had two beers/drinks.”
  • “I did not see the stop sign.”
  • “I am sorry, I was speeding.”
  • “I did not mean to do it.”
  • “It was an accident.”

Do Not Assert Your Rights Aggressively

Asserting your rights when interacting with the police is crucial. However, doing so aggressively or confrontationally can worsen the situation. It is essential to communicate your knowledge of your legal rights respectfully. Calmly inform the police officer that you are invoking your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Politeness can go a long way in dealing with the police.

Never Make Threats

Threatening a police officer is disrespectful and fruitless. It can also result in charges of obstruction of justice or harassment. Regardless of how you feel, it is vital to remain civil and avoid making threats, such as, “I will make sure you lose your badge/job over this.”

Cooperating With the Police

When interacting with the police, cooperation is of utmost importance. Cooperating with the police involves remaining calm, respectful, and following lawful instructions. For example, when asked to provide your name and identification, you should do so. Do not resist or make sudden movements that could make the officer believe they are in danger. Additionally, avoid providing false information, as that can lead to charges of obstruction of justice or perjury. Cooperating with the police can ensure a smoother interaction. It can lead to more favorable outcomes. Of course, it is crucial to know your rights. But when invoking your rights, do so in a respectful manner.

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