One of the most common myths about law enforcement is the belief that you have to talk to the police. In some cases, you might have to give the police basic information like your name and address. Other than that, you could refuse to talk to the police until you have a Mississippi attorney present.
Do you always have to talk to the police?
According to criminal law, you don’t have to answer the police’s questions. This doesn’t mean that you can flee the scene if you’re under arrest, but you could remain silent until your attorney arrives. In fact, your criminal defense lawyer might recommend that you stay silent so you don’t say anything that incriminates you.
This doesn’t just apply to the initial arrest–it also applies to interrogations. You don’t have to answer the prosecution’s questions without an attorney present. However, this doesn’t mean that you can lie to the police. If you do, the police might charge you with obstruction of justice. It simply means that you can stay silent and refuse to give them any information beyond your name and address.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. If a police officer pulls you over on the highway, they have the right to ask for your driver’s license, vehicle registration and other documents. Similarly, you might have to give the police identification if they have reason to believe that you’re involved in a crime. However, you don’t have to say anything that might incriminate yourself.
When should you start answering questions?
It’s best not to answer any questions until you get ahold of a criminal defense attorney. They might be able to help you deal with law enforcement without incriminating yourself or accidentally misleading the police. Your attorney might also help you build a case going forward.