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Know your rights and responsibilities when talking to police

Encounters with the police can be simple or they can be more complex. It is important that you understand your rights in any encounter that you have with police officers so that you understand what you can do, what you should do and what you should avoid. Knowing this before you encounter the police might help you to be more cautious.

The first thing that you should know is that the police can use what you say against you, so be very careful about what you say. Even if you haven't been read your Miranda rights, you should be careful of what you say. This is true whether you are being questioned for murder or interviewed about any other crime.

In addition to paying attention to what you say, be careful about how you say what you do say. While it isn't illegal to yell at a cop or even swear at them, it is possible that you might cross the line between exercising your right to free speech and being guilty of disturbing the peace.

Always remember that you do have the right to remain silent. In many cases, that right is one that you should exercise. Of course, you should use your discretion because remaining silent can't be used against you, but it might not really help your case in some instances.

You should be careful about what police officers are telling you and how they are acting. In some instances, confessions have been coerced. If that occurs, you might be able to use that coercion as a component in your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 7 Tips for Talking to the Police," Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed June 24, 2016

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