10 Things You Don’t Have To Answer If You Are Pulled Over

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Most people get pretty shaken up when they get pulled over, but having a better understanding of what your rights are and what to say when asked certain questions can help ease some of that angst. Here are the most common 10 questions that police officers ask during a routine traffic stop, with some perspective on how to respond and handle the situation more effectively.

Mental And Physical Capability

When pulled over a cop may ask you “Are you experiencing a physical or mental condition that may affect your driving ability?” The best possible way to respond to this question is “no comment” to avoid potential issues during the stop.

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If you admit to a condition that could negatively affect your driving you may end up subjecting yourself to further test and scrutiny from the officer.

The Reason You Were Pulled Over

The infamous question “Do you know why I pulled you over?.” This question is the standard for a cop when pulling someone over. Do yourself a favor and don’t answer this question hastily, and don’t admit any guilt. Instead respectfully ask for clarification.

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“Officer, may I know the reason for the stop?” Some don’t know this but it is your right to know and have an understanding as to why you are being pulled over for the traffic stop.

Condition Of The Vehicle

Any questions pertaining to the mechanical of your vehicle, such as “did you know that window tint is illegal?” While this question may seem harmless and nonchalant, answering this question could potentially give the police officer to dig their heels in more.

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Instead of answering politely decline to answer by saying, “I prefer not to answer.”

Under The Influence

“Have you consumed any alcohol or drugs prior to or while you were driving?” This one is a sensitive one, you need to be compliant but you are also entitled to respectfully decline to answer this question, simply reply with “I choose to remain silent.”

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If you admit to consuming any amount of drugs or alcohol prior to operating a can give law enforcement a reason to conduct a field sobriety test or pursue further investigation.

Questioning Your Motives

When a cop asks you “Where are you coming from, where are you going?” You have the choice to answer, but you need to proceed with caution. Don’t admit being at places that are associated with alcohol or cannabis products. Unless for some reason you are transporting them legally.

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It’s never advised to lie to a police officer, you should just respond with “I’m going to remain silent,” and save yourself some trouble.

Passengers In The Car

It isn’t uncommon for a cop to ask “Who is this person with you?” What you may not know is you are not obligated to give the identity or the relationships of the passengers in your vehicle.

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Instead of giving up the information, politely inform the officer that you are not required by law to answer those questions. Let the police officer know that you are maintaining the legal protection of yourself and your passengers.

Weapons In The Vehicle

If a cop asks you “Do you have any weapons in the car?” They may be asking to assess potential risk for themselves and others around them. Regardless of the motives behind this question you need to know that you aren’t required to answer. Instead of answering you can answer a question with a question, ask the officer something like this “Do you have a reason to suspect that, officer?”

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Instead of running the risk of possibly incriminating yourself, redirect and maintain the focus on wanting to understand the reason for their inquiry.

Prior Arrest

If a police officer ever asks you “Have you ever been arrested?” How you respond could be used against you negatively in a variety of ways. Remember that the Fifth Amendment is there to protect you from self-incrimination, meaning under no circumstances are you obligated to answer this question.

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Give yourself the upper hand and choose to remain silent, or respectfully let the officer know that you are declining to answer.

Where You Currently Live

Any one of us that have been pulled over have most likely encountered some variation of this question, “Is this your current address?” If you choose to share your current address you are giving law enforcement the option to further their investigation and even pursue surveillance of your home. You are not legally obligated to share you current place of residence.

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Respectfully decline answering the question by saying to the effect of “I am choosing to remain silent.”

Why Are You In This Neighborhood?

“What are you doing in this neighborhood?” This is a loaded question and it lends itself to concerns about discrimination and profiling. Bottom line you shouldn’t be questioned simply based on the way you look or the location in which you are driving in or through.

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Just respectfully decline to answer the question by saying “I choose to remain silent.” If the police officer has a specific and legally justifiable reason for asking, he or she should explain that to you.

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Athena Hallet

Written by Athena Hallet

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