Coming face to face with law enforcement is often an intimidating experience, and it is easy to cave into police pressure. If the police want to ask you questions, it is crucial that you know your rights.
If you are stopped and questioned by the police, you should get some clarification as to why you are being stopped. Not every interaction with law enforcement involves an arrest, and the police could easily stop you in the street and request that you answer some questions. First, demand to know if you are under arrest. If you are not, you are generally free to leave without answering any questions. If you are being taken into custody, avoid answering any questions that might incriminate you until you speak with an attorney. You should talk to an attorney regardless of the outcome of your interaction with law enforcement, especially if you believe you might be under investigation.
The police might be intimidating, but they are not allowed to trample over your rights. Our Utah criminal defense attorneys can help you protect yourself if you are stopped by the police. For a free case evaluation, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.
What Happens When You Are Stopped and Questioned by the Utah Police?
What exactly happens after the police stop you depends on a great many factors. Sometimes, the police have a few questions about you or someone you might know. These questions might not even be incriminating, and you might have nothing to worry about. Other times, the police are conducting a criminal investigation, and answering questions might give them the probable cause they need to arrest you.
Law enforcement may stop you at almost any time and place for a variety of reasons. At the very least, the police should tell you the reason for stopping you. However, if the police suspect you are involved in an alleged crime, they might not be forthcoming with all the details. The bottom line is that you should be on your guard when stopped and questioned by the police. You can call our Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyers immediately after you are stopped and explain your situation.
In some cases, being confronted by law enforcement is such an intimidating and scary experience that people panic and try to flee. The police might perceive your running away as suspicious behavior even if you have nothing to hide. Fleeing the scene might give the police enough probable cause to arrest you.
Answering Questions from the Utah Police After Being Stopped
As mentioned above, you may or may not be required to answer police questions depending on the nature of the stop. If you are taken into custody, you are still not required to answer questions beyond basic identifying information. After being arrested but before answering police questions, call our Utah criminal defense lawyers for assistance.
You do not have to answer questions if you are not under arrest. Whether or not you answer any questions asked by the police at this point is entirely up to you. However, you should ensure that you are not under arrest and free to leave anytime. If you decide to answer questions, ask the officers if you are under arrest or if you are under investigation.
If you are taken into custody, the issue of answering questions becomes more complicated. While you still do not have to answer any questions asked by the police during custodial interrogation, you are not free to leave. If you are in custody, get a lawyer as soon as possible. The police should inform you of your Miranda rights, including your rights to remain silent and have a lawyer. Invoke these rights as soon as possible and call our Provo criminal defense lawyers for help.
How to Speak with the Utah Police After Bering Stopped
If you end up answering police questions after being stopped, you should take steps to protect yourself from accidental self-incrimination. Suppose the police have not clarified their intentions, or you suspect you are being investigated in connection with an alleged crime. In that case, you should call our Riverton criminal defense lawyers for help immediately.
It is okay to answer basic questions that verify your identity, and showing your ID might be legally required in certain circumstances. Avoid answering questions until you can determine whether the police are taking you into custody or why they want to talk to you. You can answer questions if you are not a suspect and the police have assured you that you are not under investigation. If the police do not give a straight answer about why they want to talk to you, leave if you can. The police cannot force you to answer any questions.
If you answer questions, be careful about what you say and how much detail you provide. Giving away too much information might provide the police with probable cause to arrest you or someone you might know. Generally, suspects can end custodial interrogation whenever they wish and assert their rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer present. Remember, silence cannot be used against you.
Do I Need a Lawyer if I am Stopped and Questioned by the Utah Police?
Whether or not you need a lawyer is hard to say after one interaction with the police, especially if you were not arrested. However, you should contact an attorney right away and explain the situation. Our St. Geroge criminal defense lawyers can help you determine if you were being investigated for a crime and how you should conduct yourself with the police moving forward.
If you were arrested after you were stopped and questioned, you need a lawyer as soon as possible. Upon arriving at the police station, tell the police you want to contact your attorney as soon as possible. If they begin interrogating you regarding an alleged offense, refuse to answer until your lawyer is present.
Get in Touch with Our Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help
If you were recently stopped by the police and asked to answer questions, you should talk to our Ogden criminal defense lawyers about what you told the police, if anything. It is possible that you are being investigated and need a lawyer immediately. For a free case review, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.