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The right to remain silent when pulled over

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Being pulled over by a police officer in Tennessee can be a frightening experience. Although it seems like you should answer anything that the officer asks, you have the right not to say anything when you’re stopped.

Answering questions

As part of your constitutional rights, you can remain silent if you’re questioned by an officer. You can remain silent even if you’re arrested and taken to jail. This can be used as a criminal defense if an officer tries to force you to talk, especially without the presence of an attorney. The only person who can compel you to answer questions is a judge.


While you can stay silent for most of the questions that you’re asked, you do need to give your name to the officer. However, that’s all you need to say in that situation. If you’re pulled over for any kind of traffic violation, you’ll need to give the officer proof of your insurance and registration as well as your driver’s license. You do still have rights in this situation as you don’t have to answer anything after giving this information.

Help from a lawyer

One of the rights that you have is to have an attorney present with you when answering any questions. An attorney can advise you not to answer a question if it would incriminate you before going to court. If you tell the officer that you want to speak with an attorney, then they must stop asking any questions until your attorney arrives.

When you’re stopped by police, you can remain silent unless it’s to give your name, license, or registration information. An attorney can be present if you choose to answer other questions.

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