Shut Up

Protecting Your Rights


Shut Up

The encounter with a peace officer should be a listening experience. Against all instinct you may have to be heard, it will benefit you most to shut up and listen. Although the officer has sought to engage you, it will be far more useful to your case to remain calm and try to observe what is going on around you.

The first encounter will be difficult but let the cop start the conversation. You can be sure that they will tell you what they want you to do. Listen carefully before you decide to engage in conversation. In a DUI situation, the first thing they will want to discuss with you is if you have ingested alcohol that evening. This is the first trick question. If you say yes, you will be tested, if you say no, you will be tested.

You wouldn’t think that a logical question like “Why did you stop me?” could cause a problem, but it can. The only question you should ask is “I’m I free to go?” If not, you have been detained. If the officer wants to question you about a crime, you must state you want an attorney present. If you are under an investigation for DUI, any questioning without being detained may result in answers that will most certainly be used against you later.

The bottom line is, the more you say at the scene about what you have been drinking over the last 6 to 7 hours, the worst position you will be in later. The problem is that if you test, and you should, you don’t know what your level will be. You need this information in order to know what to say about the drinking pattern. You will never have this information before being asked questions on your drinking pattern.

The advice of keeping quiet applies to where you have been and where you are going. First, that may generally be none of their business, but it could harm your case later.

When you ask for a lawyer, or refuse to talk unless a lawyer is present, the cops won’t fly one in for you. But they must stop questioning you. When being questioned about a crime or DUI, it is always better for your case to shut up, the contact my office for help.

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