When police approach you, it can be hard to know how to respond. The police may ask general questions about the day, or they might ask questions to try and build the case against you for an arrest. In Texas, you don’t have to talk to the police.
Is it a good idea to talk to the police?
When you talk to the police, you are providing them with evidence. Even if you don’t admit to a crime, the police may use what you say in order to justify getting a search warrant. What you say is admissible in court if you face criminal charges, and the police may not always provide context. Even if the police say they can offer you a plea bargain for talking, they can’t guarantee it.
Do the police have to read your rights?
If you’re in police custody, the police must give you a Miranda warning. The warning states that what you say may be used against you as evidence in court for drug charges or any other type of criminal charge. When the police violate your Miranda warning rights, what you say may not be admissible.
However, Miranda warnings only apply when a person is in custody. When the police see you on the street or in your home and strike up a conversation, they can use what you say as evidence. Even if you choose not to testify in court, police can still relay to the jury what you said.
Responding to the police
When you know about police questioning, you can protect your rights. You do not have to talk to the police because what you say can be used as evidence to convict you. When the police ask you to talk, you have the right to ask for help from an attorney to represent your interests.