When you’re questioned by the police, what should you say? When should you talk? When should you remain silent? How do you answer when you’re being threatened by arrest if you don’t talk? What are your rights?
One question that confuses many clients is similar to this line of questioning:
Police: “I smell alcohol, how much have you had to drink tonight?”
Client: “Only a couple, it wasn’t much, but yes I had a little.”
The questions that an Officer may ask you BEFORE an arrest, are questions during the investigative phase. The Officer is looking for probable cause to arrest you. If you confess to drinking, having drugs on you, robbing a bank, etc., then you are providing evidence for your arrest. In fact, Officers are trained to get you to confess during this phase so that you surrender your rights before they are even read to you. Once there is sufficient evidence for your arrest, THEN you are “Mirandized,” but only AFTER you’re arrested. The Officer can use these answers against you before you’re “Mirandized” because he/she is looking for evidence of a crime to arrest you for. If you talk and willingly give up this information, then you’ll be arrested.