Can a Police Officer Stop me on the Street and Question me? Do I have to answer Those Questions?

By: Wallin & Klarich

Generally, a police officer can approach you to ask questions and can even ask to search you and your belongings. As long as the officer makes it clear that you are not required to submit to the questioning or the search, the officer has done nothing to violate your rights. In these situations, you are not required to talk or submit to a search. However, keep in mind that a police officer can “stop and frisk” you if there is a reasonable suspicion that you are involved in criminal activity and possibly armed. This means that an officer can pat you down for possible weapons, but it still doesn’t mean that they can require you to answer their questions.
When talking to police officers, be very careful with your words. Even a seemingly harmless comment could come back to haunt you. For example, what you say to the police could play a role in determining the charges you may face, your bail amount, or even the outcome of your criminal trial.
Therefore, it is best to not say anything at all to police. You can either remain silent or inform them that you want to first talk to a lawyer. You have a Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, which means you can keep your mouth shut and not be punished for it. Furthermore, your silence in the face of police allegations cannot be construed as an admission of guilt, so you don’t have to worry about that either.
Police officers will employ a variety of tricks and intimidation tactics to get you to say something that you will later regret. To best protect yourself from falling into a trap, keep your mouth shut and call an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have been in practice for over 30 years and can help you ensure that you rights are protected and skillfully represented. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at We will be there for you when you call.

Posted In: Criminal Defense