Law Office of Ronald A. Cabanayan
Law Office of
Ronald A. Cabanayan

DUI ~ Criminal Defense ~ Immigration/Naturalization

Justice Is On Your Side

Understanding your rights when being questioned by the police

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If you are suspected of or charged with a crime, law enforcement will eventually question you. This can include state or local police officers and, in some criminal matters, the FBA or Immigration officers. 

Knowing your rights when answering questions is the best way to protect them. 

Are you required to answer questions from law enforcement?

The Constitution of the United States gives you the right to say nothing when questioned by the authorities. You don’t have to talk to anyone, even if you have been arrested or are in jail. You won’t be punished for not answering questions. 

Are there exceptions to the rule that you don’t have to answer questions?

In California, if the police pull you over, you should provide your license, insurance and registration. If you don’t have these, you should provide your name. Besides that, you don’t have to answer any other questions.

If the police request to search your person or vehicle, you have the right to say that you do not consent to the search. That may force them to get a warrant.

What happens if you do answer law enforcement’s questions?

It’s important to remember that it is your right to answer questions law enforcement officers ask. However, anything you say can be used against you if you are arrested and charged with a crime. Also, lying to a government official is a crime, which means staying silent is your best option. 

If you find yourself in trouble with the law, the smartest thing you can do is exercise your right to remain silent until you can explore all the possible defense options.