Sgt. Schultz says…
To cops, ever.
Anything you say can and will be held against you. Remember that?
You ought to.
Even if you haven’t been formally arrested (merely “detained,” as in the case of a traffic stop) it does you no good and very possibly much harm to give any information to the cop beyond the simple minimums of name and perhaps address, as required by law. Nothing more, because anything more will simply give the cop information – information he can and will use against you, both at curbside and later on, in court.
This is his job. Do not forget it.
He is not there to “help” you. He is not a good Samaritan. You are not having a chat with a friend. You have been detained because the cop believes you have violated some statute or other – and he is investigatingyou. He is trained to elicit confessions of guilt, which can and will be used against you. Depend upon it.
You’ve been stopped because you were driving faster than the posted speed limit. You roll down your window and the cop asks the first leading question, “Do you know how fast you were going?” His purpose is to get you to commit to a number – probably a number that is higher than the lawful maximum, even if lower than you were actually traveling. He knows you were doing 72 but if you say 65 (and the speed limit is 55) he has not only obtained an admission of guilt, he can appear to be a “nice guy” by “giving you a break” – that is, citing you for 65 rather than 72. Either way, he – the system – wins.
Well, nothing potentially incriminating, anyhow.
“I’m sure you have an opinion, officer” is an excellent response – though one sure to wipe any patina of “nice guy” clean off the cop.
Similarly, other interrogatories.
“Where are you headed tonight?”
“You’re not being very cooperative.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way, officer.”
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