What questions to answer

One thing our clients tell us during our first consultation in a drug case is that they didn't know what to do when they were stopped and questioned by the police.  Usually the police will ask them a question, then add, "Don't lie to me.  If you lie to me you will face more charges."  The fact is, they are rightIf you lie to the police you stand the chance of being charged with additional crimes.  The better alternative is to remain polite, and tell the officer that you don't wish to answer any questions and that you want to leave. 

When you are faced with police questions after being stopped in a vehicle remember the "Three Document Rule!"  If the information he asks you is information contained on the three documents you are required to provide to the police when you are stopped, (Driver's license, Registration, Insurance Card), then answer the officer's question.  If the information is not contained on those three documents, then politely refuse and ask if you are free to leave.

Many officers will continue asking you questions regardless of whether you answer those questions.  They know that you are under a unique kind of psychological pressure when you are being questioned by a police officer.It is human nature to answer a question we are asked.  This is so even if the answer will hurt us in some way.  This is especially true when the question is posed by a police officer in full uniform, with a gun and other equipment on his person, and when you have just been pulled over and are standing on the side of a road with flashing lights behind your car.  Still if you are to survive a police encounter without a criminal record, you have to politely refuse to answer any of his questionsYou are required by law to provide the officer with your insurance, registration, and driver's license, but you have to get in the mind frame that anything else you say or do may very well provide him the justification to search or arrest you.  Once you start down the slippery-slope of answering an officer's questions it is difficult to stop the conversation and protect yourself from further investigation. 

The simplest advice to give, but sometimes the hardest advice to follow is simply, "Don't offer any information to the police officer but that information that is contained on your driver's license, insurance card, and registration."

Think of it this way...If an officer comes to your car window after stopping you and asks, "Is this your car?"  You are safe to say "yes" or "no, it's my friends, I'm borrowing it."  Both of those answers can be found on the vehicle registration card.

If the officer says, "What's your address?"  Give it to him.  Even if your current address is not on your driver's license, your address is listed on your driver's license

If the officer then asks, "Where are you coming from?" Here it is perfectly acceptable for you to say, "Officer, I don't want to answer any questions.  Am I free to go?"  The information the officer is asking you is not contained on any of the three documents he has asked for.  Be polite, but don't provide him the information he is seeking.  He has no need to know that in order to issue you a ticket or warning.

With every question he asks you, think to yourself before answering, "Is this information found on my driver's license, registration, or insurance card?"  If not, politely refuse.

If you have a Texas concealed gun permit you must provide that information to the officer voluntarily.  This is the only exception to the "Three document rule."