If I’m innocent, why shouldn’t I answer police questions?

If you are arrested or detained by police, do not say a word except to request to speak with your attorney. It is important to remember that at this point, nothing you say can help you; it can only hurt you.

Even if you are not under arrest, you should generally not answer any questions from police, especially if you may have committed a crime, or if police are questioning you in connection with a crime.

Declining to answer a police officer’s questions can be an intimidating prospect. Some possible responses if you do not wish to answer are:

  • “Am I required to answer your questions?”
  • “I don’t have anything to say about that.”
  • “My attorney told me never to answer any questions without him present.”
  • Or simply remain silent.

Remember: The right to remain silent applies all the time, not only when you are under arrest. You will never be arrested, detained or punished for exercising this right, no matter what anyone tells you.

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