Pleading the 5th in Traffic Stops
Although television most often has characters invoking the 5th Amendment during a police interview or trial, this right can be evoked even at a traffic stop. You do not need to answer police questions, whether it is for speeding, a car accident, or a DUI until you speak with a Fort Worth Criminal attorney.
When the Officer Approaches
For more mundane traffic stops, the officer might ask you a basic question the moment they approach your car. Most often, this question is “Do you know why I pulled you over?” This might seem like basic conversation or an opportunity to provide the officer with an excuse to avoid a ticket. However, the answer you provide the officer can be used against you, both by the officer and in court.
In car accidents, the officer will often ask the parties for a statement and a description of how the crash occurred. Providing an answer, particularly one that implies you might be at fault, could lead to a citation or criminal charges and could be used against you in civil suits related to the accident.
In a DUI
If an officer pulls you over, suspecting you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is especially important that you don’t make statements to police before contacting a DFW Texas criminal lawyer. DUI-related charges can linger on your record and impact your employment, so it is important to take every step to ensure you don’t harm your potential case.
What to Say Instead
Asserting your 5th Amendment right is more than simply staying silent when an officer asks you a question. You should be sure to tell the officer that you are asserting your right. At that point, the officer should stop their questioning, and you should contact Wilson Law Practice for legal guidance.
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