How far does the right to remain silent extend?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

You probably know that you have the right to remain silent when confronted by officers, but you may not understand how far the right extends. Officers can say and do almost anything they want to try to get you to talk, so you must be on top of things.

The ACLU explains you want to learn what the law says you must and must not say to officers.

Your rights

The constitution gives you the right to not provide evidence against yourself, which translates to the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions officers ask you about the situation that led to your detainment or arrest. Even if an officer is interrogating you, you do not have to talk. You cannot face punishment for not talking and once you evoke your right to an attorney, officers must stop asking you questions until your attorney gets there. However, if you do not ask for an attorney, officers can ask you questions even if you tell him you wish to remain silent.


There are exceptions to the general rules about your right to remain silent. If an officer asks for your name, you should provide it, but do not lie about it. Lying to an officer is a crime. You also must provide your driver’s license, insurance proof and registration when an officer asks after pulling you over for a traffic stop.

The right to remain silent protects you. Anything you say to officers becomes evidence the prosecutor can use against you in court. So, follow the general rule, and do not say anything beyond your name to officers.


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