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Do you have to talk to the police when they stop you?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2021 | Criminal Defense

If the police personally confront you in Tennessee, you have certain rights during the interaction. You shouldn’t attempt to flee, yell, curse at the cops or assault an officer, but you might be able to walk away or refuse to answer their questions. It’s important to know your rights so you don’t end up accidentally incriminating yourself.

What are your rights when the police stop you in public?

When the police stop you in public, you can ask them if you’re free to leave. If you are, you can walk away without answering any questions. Otherwise, you should ask them if you’re under arrest. The police might detain you at the scene without arresting you. Under criminal law, you’re not obligated to answer any of their questions regardless of the situation.

If the police arrest you, you’ll have to give them your name and address. Besides that, you don’t have to answer questions on any other subject, including your previous whereabouts, criminal history or immigration status. Avoid showing the police a fake ID or immigration papers. This could lead to criminal charges later on. If the police insist on questioning you, tell them that you refuse to speak without your criminal defense attorney present.

What should you do next?

When the police give you permission to leave, you might want to contact an attorney. Your attorney could tell you what to do next and help you prepare for the possibility of legal action.

If you’re innocent, it’s important to get an attorney on your side as soon as possible so they can help you prepare a defense. They might also point out that the police violated your rights or illegally targeted you. Even if the incident doesn’t lead to anything, it’s important to stand up for your rights as an individual.

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