North Carolina residents who are stopped by the police may be a bit wary of speaking to them. Regardless of whether or not they have information regarding a crime, they don’t want to incriminate themselves. The reality is that knowing your rights can allow you to handle the situation with ease.
When is it mandatory to speak to the police?
Any criminal defense lawyer can tell you that there are only a couple of scenarios in which you have to speak to the police. Otherwise, you can simply decline to answer their questions. The first scenario of when you must talk to the police is if they enact the Stop and Identify law. This law is present in about half of the states throughout the nation.
The Stop and Identify law requires that you supply an officer with your name and address if they ask you for it. However, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that you were involved in a crime to ask you for identification. The second scenario where you have to talk to the police is if they pull you over. You must supply them with a driver’s license and proof of insurance as part of the state law.
How to refuse to speak to the officer?
Many people may want to refuse to speak to an officer but don’t know how to approach the topic in a way that seems non-confrontational. The best way to let an officer know that you won’t be answering any of their questions is to simply tell them that you only want to speak with your lawyer present. Police officers know that it’s your legal right to have a legal representative present during questioning.
Being approached by the police can be a scary incident. By understanding your rights, you can help to ensure that you act within them. If you’re ever unsure of what your rights are regarding speaking to the police, you can ask an attorney for assistance.