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Attorney
Joseph A. Lombardo

After being arrested, you will probably face quite a few questions from law enforcement. Although the police are certainly an intimidating presence, you do not necessarily have to answer every question.

You must give certain pieces of information to the police after you are arrested. Generally, basic questions to verify your identity must be answered. Other than that, you are not required to answer questions from the police, even if you are under arrest. Your right to remain silent allows you to refuse to answer incriminating questions while held in police custody. If you refuse to answer police questions, there should be no consequences unless the questions pertain to your identity. If you are asked questions while in custody, you can choose to stop answering questions at any time.

The police are an intimidating force, and they use this to pressure people into answering their questions. Our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers can help you stand up to the police and protect your right to remain silent. For a free assessment of your case, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.

Questions You Must Answer for the Police in NJ

When the police arrest a suspect, they must establish that person’s identity. This not only helps the police make sure they have the correct person but is necessary for clerical and intake purposes. The arrestee’s identity may be run through a police database to determine if the suspect has been arrested before or if there are any red flags the police should be aware of. You should contact our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers for help after being arrested before you answer too many questions.

For the most part, the police will ask you for basic identifying information, usually your name, where you live, and possibly other minor details. Refusing to answer these questions might lead to unpleasant consequences. In many cases, the police will be far less forgiving or lenient when making an arrest if the suspect refuses to cooperate and answer basic questions. Depending on the situation, there might be criminal charges for such behavior. For example, refusing to identify yourself to the police and give them your license and registration in a traffic stop may lead to charges.

Questions You Can Refuse to Answer in NJ After an Arrest

What might surprise you is that there is very little information you must give to law enforcement after arrest. Other than basic questions to verify your identity, you are not required to give much else. In fact, you have the right to remain silent and demand an attorney when questioned by the police after an arrest, and you should invoke this right until our Atlantic County criminal defense attorney can get to you.

When a suspect is detained in police custody, the police must inform them of their Miranda rights before they begin any line of questioning or interrogation. Your Miranda rights include your rights to remain silent and have a lawyer with you. Essentially, after the police read you your rights, you can invoke your right to stay silent and refuse to answer any questions. You can also demand an attorney.

You are not legally required to give the police any information other than basic details to establish your identity. You do not have to answer any questions you believe will incriminate you, and you should contact an attorney as soon as you possibly can.

What Happens If I Refuse to Answer Police Questions in New Jersey?

Refusing to answer questions from the police is not without consequences. You are required to answer questions regarding your identity. In certain circumstances, like traffic stops, you might also have to provide specific documentation to the police (e.g., license and registration). Although you might feel compelled to resist answering these questions to protect yourself, these kinds of questions are not optional. If you refuse to identify yourself or provide enough information so that the police can verify your identity, you might face penalties.

Refusing to identify yourself often leads to trouble. In cases of traffic stops, you might face additional charges or citations for refusing to provide your driver’s license or registration upon demand. Even if you are not criminally charged for your refusal, the police might take a special interest in making your experience as difficult as possible.

Refusal to provide basic identifying information also tends to raise a red flag with law enforcement, and they might become suspicious as to why. Even if you are just frightened and afraid to answer police questions, the police might think you are hiding something nefarious. Sometimes, this refusal to answer questions gives the police reasonable suspicion or probable cause to escalate the situation or take you into custody.

Refusing to answer other questions once you are in custody cannot legally be used against you. Part of the right to remain silent is the guarantee that your silence cannot be used against you while you are in custody. Talk to a Camden County criminal defense lawyer for more details.

When Can I Stop Answering Police Questions After Being Arrested in New Jersey?

After you are arrested, you might decide to waive your right to remain silent and answer questions from law enforcement. Many people do this because they know they have done nothing wrong and believe answering questions truthfully can only help them. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials are sometimes more readily convinced of a person’s guilt than innocence. While you might believe telling the truth will help you, law enforcement might be thinking of ways to use the information against you.

If you see the line of questioning turning against your better interests, you are free to stop answering at any time. You can still invoke your right to remain silent even though you chose to answer questions before. When you do this, you have to make it clear that you are not going to answer any further questions by saying that out loud. You also have to actually stop answering questions or else the police can claim your refusal was not clear.

You should also call our Egg Harbor Township criminal defense attorneys for help immediately if you decide to stop answering police questions. We can help you determine the potential damage your answers might have done and how we can protect you and your rights.

Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers for a Free Case Assessment

Answering questions from law enforcement after being arrested is like navigating a minefield. The police are often just itching to pounce on information they believe is incriminating. Our Linwood criminal defense attorneys can help you protect yourself. For a free case review, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.

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