What To Do When Questioned By Police?

How To Deal With Police Questioning?


It is important to understand your rights and obligations when it comes to dealing with a police officers. Not understanding your rights and obligations can lead to you being unfairly treated or even worse, arrested and charged.
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The police question you because they are hoping to get evidence from you which they will use against you in court. Ninety percent of people found guilty in court, have provided police with the evidence needed to have them found guilty.

The police are professional question askers and evidence gatherers. They know how to still get answers to their questions from people who exercise their "right to silence". They know the law better than most non-police people, and they have many tricks to get evidence that they can use in court. Their aim is to have you successfully prosecuted.

Essentially you have two options: Firstly to say nothing; and secondly to answer their questions. You really need to have your wits about you and be alert when dealing with the police. Most of us have a right to silence. This means that apart from answering mandatory questions like "what is your name and address?", the law allows us to not answer any more questions. But if you decide to exercise your right to silence, it is best to be silent and say nothing. Saying "no comment" to each police question is not exercising your right to silence. Silence means silence.

In practice this would mean that the police would ask you for your name and address which you would provide, and then for every question after that you will sit there silently no matter what they may say. The police will try hard to get you to answer them. They may give you their legal advice and try to pressure you or advise you that it is in your interest to answer them. But in most cases, it isn't. Remember, the police are not lawyers and they are not acting in your interest. They are not your friends. They will do whatever it takes to get evidence from you.

If you decide to answer their questions, you need to be alert for tricky questions. Often at the end of the interview they will ask you if you had a good reason for committing the offence. They will do this even if you have spent the entire time denying that you committed the offence. Most people will answer "no" meaning that no they didn't commit the offence. But a court will interpret your "no" to mean that no you didn't have a good reason for committing the offence. Therefore your "no" will mean that you did commit the offence.

It is always better to keep silent. The only time to answer their questions is if you have a good defence and if you are able to think properly about the questions you are being asked, so that you do not fall into any traps.


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