Your Rights During Law Enforcement Encounters

Right to remain silent

Any time you encounter law enforcement, you should know your rights.  For example, if law enforcement asks you a question where you may incriminate yourself, you may refuse to answer and invoke your right to remain silent.  You may also invoke your right to speak to an attorney.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered that police must advise you of these rights if they are subjecting you to interrogation while you are in their custody; unfortunately, many police encounters occur prior to people being placed in custody, and thus where police need not necessarily advise you of these rights.  However, even if you are not “in custody”, you still have the right to remain silent and speak to an attorney.  However, while you have a right to remain silent and speak to an attorney, lying to law enforcement in certain situations could see you charged with a crime such as obstruction of justice.