What Should I Say to Police?

Aug 11, 2017 | Allen A. Ritchie


Let me give you some advice on what to say in a legal situation. Mostly, what do you say to police?

Some of this is from my legal training but most is just being a good southern boy with a few years’ experience hanging around the legal system.

First, say nothing. In most instances with police, you have the right to remain silent. Do so. You are required to give your name and show some form of identification but that is about it. Be polite but simply decline to answer questions. If you are under arrest, then definitely don’t say anything, use your Miranda rights under the Fifth Amendment. At this point, anything you say can only make the situation worse.

If you are going to talk, despite my advice, then don’t bargain with police. This usually comes with the good ol’ boy phrase, “I only had one beer.” The thinking, as shaky as it is, is that if you admit to a little then the officer will see you are a good guy. That doesn’t even happen on TV cop shows. You have now given the officer a reason to investigate further.

Never say “yes” to a search. There is a reason officers need search warrants or probable cause to go through your things. They will never find anything that helps you. Never.

And finally, do not admit to anything. Proving your guilt is not your job. It has been my experience that admitting to an officer about your misdeed does not help you at sentencing. If you plead guilty, it is best to do so with a lawyer by your side in front of a judge.

Now if you want to talk especially about car wrecks, slip and fall or other injury issues, you can talk with the lawyers at Eiland and Ritchie for free. There is no cost until we collect for you. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Allen Ritchie

Personal Injury Attorney