5 Tricky Questions Cops Ask and How to Answer Them Effectively

If you‚Äôre ever pulled over by police, it‚Äôs impor¬≠tant to know what to expect and how to han¬≠dle the sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tion. The first thing that comes to mind for most peo¬≠ple is prob¬≠a¬≠bly ‚ÄúAm I going to get arrest¬≠ed?‚ÄĚ But before you can answer that ques¬≠tion, there are some oth¬≠er things you need to consider:

What kind of crime did I com­mit?
How much does it cost if I’m con­vict­ed of this crime?
Will my insur­ance rates go up if I’m con­vict­ed of this crime?
These are all ques­tions that will help deter­mine whether or not it’s worth fight­ing your tick­et in court (or even pay­ing it). The last thing any­one wants is a crim­i­nal record or high­er insur­ance pre­mi­ums because they did­n’t know how much trou­ble they were get­ting them­selves into when they got pulled over by police officers!

Ques­tion 1: Have You Been Drinking?

Have you been drink­ing?
This is a tricky ques¬≠tion because it‚Äôs not ille¬≠gal to drink alco¬≠hol. How¬≠ev¬≠er, if you answer ‚Äúyes‚ÄĚ and the cop believes that your abil¬≠i¬≠ty to dri¬≠ve safe¬≠ly is impaired by your con¬≠sump¬≠tion of alco¬≠hol, then he or she can arrest you for drunk dri¬≠ving. If you answer ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ and then fail the breath¬≠a¬≠lyz¬≠er test (or any oth¬≠er test), then the cop will prob¬≠a¬≠bly arrest you any¬≠way. So what do we do?
The best thing to do when asked this ques¬≠tion is remain silent until an attor¬≠ney has been con¬≠sult¬≠ed and advice giv¬≠en on how best to pro¬≠ceed in answer¬≠ing ques¬≠tions from police offi¬≠cers with¬≠out incrim¬≠i¬≠nat¬≠ing your¬≠self or mak¬≠ing things worse for your¬≠self by say¬≠ing some¬≠thing stu¬≠pid like ‚ÄúI only had one beer.‚ÄĚ

Ques¬≠tion 2: Where Were You Going?

This is a tricky ques¬≠tion because it can be used to trick you into incrim¬≠i¬≠nat¬≠ing your¬≠self. For exam¬≠ple, if you were dri¬≠ving over the speed lim¬≠it and get pulled over by police, they might ask ‚ÄúWhere were you going?‚ÄĚ If you say some¬≠thing like ‚ÄúI was just run¬≠ning some errands,‚ÄĚ then they might ask what those errands were and where they took place. This will lead them down the road toward find¬≠ing out that you were speed¬≠ing and break¬≠ing oth¬≠er traf¬≠fic laws along the way (and pos¬≠si¬≠bly even get¬≠ting arrest¬≠ed).
So how should we answer this ques¬≠tion? It depends on your sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tion: if there‚Äôs noth¬≠ing ille¬≠gal about where we‚Äôre going or why we‚Äôre going there (like pick¬≠ing up gro¬≠ceries), then we should sim¬≠ply say so‚Äďbut only after mak¬≠ing sure not to give any oth¬≠er infor¬≠ma¬≠tion about our destination!

Ques¬≠tion 3: What Were You Doing There?

This is a tricky ques¬≠tion, because you don‚Äôt want to give away too much infor¬≠ma¬≠tion. If the cop asks you what were you doing there, he‚Äôs try¬≠ing to fig¬≠ure out if there was any¬≠thing ille¬≠gal going on in that loca¬≠tion or if there was some¬≠thing sus¬≠pi¬≠cious about your pres¬≠ence there. You should answer this ques¬≠tion by say¬≠ing some¬≠thing like ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know,‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúI just hap¬≠pened to be pass¬≠ing by.‚ÄĚ Don‚Äôt say any¬≠thing else unless they ask anoth¬≠er ques¬≠tion like ‚ÄúWhy did you stop?‚ÄĚ

Ques­tion 4: Do You Have Any Drugs or Weapons?
This ques¬≠tion is tricky because the police offi¬≠cer has no legal right to search your car with¬≠out a war¬≠rant. The only way for him or her to legal¬≠ly do so is if he has prob¬≠a¬≠ble cause, which means that he thinks you have drugs or weapons in the vehi¬≠cle. If you answer this ques¬≠tion wrong and say ‚Äúno,‚ÄĚ then it can be used against you lat¬≠er when they try to search your car with¬≠out prob¬≠a¬≠ble cause (and there¬≠fore ille¬≠gal¬≠ly).
If, how¬≠ev¬≠er, you answer this ques¬≠tion cor¬≠rect¬≠ly by say¬≠ing ‚Äúyes‚ÄĚ and show them that there are no drugs or weapons in the vehicle‚Äďand if they don‚Äôt find any dur¬≠ing their search‚Äďthen there will be no prob¬≠lem at all!

Ques¬≠tion 5: What‚Äôs Your Name?

“What’s your name?“
This is a tricky ques­tion because it can lead to you giv­ing away infor­ma­tion that could be used against you. For exam­ple, if the police ask for your name and date of birth and then run a back­ground check on those details, they may find out that there’s an out­stand­ing war­rant for your arrest or some oth­er inci­dent in which law enforce­ment has been involved with your iden­ti­ty. If this hap­pens, the police will have prob­a­ble cause for arrest­ing you imme­di­ate­ly with­out hav­ing to go through any oth­er steps or pro­ce­dures first (such as ask­ing if they can search).
So how do we avoid this? The best way is not respond¬≠ing at all‚Äďjust stay silent until they ask some¬≠thing else! If they keep press¬≠ing and ask¬≠ing why aren‚Äôt answer¬≠ing them, just say ‚ÄúI‚Äôm exer¬≠cis¬≠ing my right not to speak.‚ÄĚ


If you‚Äôre ever in a sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tion where police are ask¬≠ing ques¬≠tions, it‚Äôs impor¬≠tant to know your rights. You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer any ques¬≠tions asked of you by law enforce¬≠ment offi¬≠cers. If an offi¬≠cer asks if they can search or seize some¬≠thing from you, say ‚ÄúNo.‚ÄĚ If they ask for per¬≠mis¬≠sion to enter your home or vehi¬≠cle and look around, say ‚ÄúNo.‚Äú
If an offi¬≠cer begins ques¬≠tion¬≠ing you about some¬≠thing that hap¬≠pened in the past (i.e., if they ask what hap¬≠pened at a par¬≠ty last night), tell them that because this is an ongo¬≠ing inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion into crim¬≠i¬≠nal activ¬≠i¬≠ty being con¬≠duct¬≠ed by police offi¬≠cers who are not cur¬≠rent¬≠ly present dur¬≠ing this con¬≠ver¬≠sa¬≠tion with me today (name¬≠ly: myself), I would pre¬≠fer not dis¬≠cussing such mat¬≠ters until after those offi¬≠cers arrive so that I may speak direct¬≠ly with them instead of hav¬≠ing my words relayed through anoth¬≠er per¬≠son who may mis¬≠char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ize what I am say¬≠ing due sim¬≠ply because he does not have all rel¬≠e¬≠vant facts regard¬≠ing our encounter here today before him yet; there¬≠fore I respect¬≠ful¬≠ly decline answer¬≠ing any fur¬≠ther ques¬≠tions until such time as those detec¬≠tives arrive so we can pro¬≠ceed with¬≠out any fur¬≠ther delay.‚ÄĚ

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