Because you are a reasonable adult, you understand that police officers have a job to do. However, you may understandably wonder in certain cases whether an officer has carried out his or her duties correctly or whether an officer suspects you of a crime when you have done nothing wrong. If an officer starts asking you a number of questions, you may feel like a suspect.
You may experience this feeling if a police officer stops your vehicle and questions your sobriety. In fact, the officer may ask you questions that seem unrelated to drinking and driving, but the possibility exists that he or she is still trying to gather evidence against you for a possible DUI. In this type of scenario, you may want to remember your right to remain silent.
Silence is golden
After stopping you for a possible DUI, the officer likely wants to determine whether you are truly impaired, and if he or she believes you are, the officer will also want to gather as much evidence against you as possible. Often, police often use questioning as a way to gain information and evidence from a suspect. In fact, officers commonly receive training to use questioning to their advantage in efforts to gain as much evidence as possible.
Fortunately, you have a tool at your disposal that can help you avoid giving evidence to officers, even if you did not mean to. That tool is your constitutional right to remain silent. You may not think that you need to remain silent if an officer asks you how your evening has been or what you have been doing, but even answering these seemingly innocent questions could work against you.
Unrelated questions as evidence
Often, police officers will ask seemingly unrelated questions in efforts to get you to open up about your recent activities, which could include consuming alcohol. In some cases, rather than simply asking if you have been drinking, an officer may ask about your evening, ask where you are driving from and, possibly, eventually come to the point of asking whether you consumed alcohol. The preliminary questions may act as a way to make you feel more comfortable speaking to the officer before he or she asks more intrusive questions.
Of course, even if you remain silent, an officer may still feel as if he or she has probable cause for taking you into custody for DUI. If this happens, it may work in your best interests to remain calm. An initial charge does not make you guilty, and you have the right to defend against any charges brought against you. Gaining information regarding your defense options may help you address your case, and having a knowledgeable Colorado attorney on your side may prove wise.