Encounters with police officers make most people nervous. Sometimes police officers count on this and use your anxiety to get you to talk or answer questions to get information.
This is why it is important to know your rights when it comes to talking with police officers. Anything you say can potentially be used against you, so in general, the less you say, the better.
Under New Hampshire law, police officers must have reasonable suspicion to stop you and probable cause to arrest you during that stop.
Exercise your right to remain silent
When you are stopped by police, whether in your vehicle, at your home or on the street, you have the right to remain silent and not answer questions. You should provide your name if asked and provide your driver’s license and registration if you are asked for them after being stopped in your vehicle.
Aside from those two exceptions, you do not have to say anything else or answer any other questions. Answering a couple additional questions does not mean that you must continue to answer more. You can stop at any point and assert your right to remain silent.
Ask if you are free to leave
The police officers must eventually arrest you or let you go. They should not threaten or harass you to get you to answer questions or give more information. If they do, ask them if you are free to leave. They must let you leave unless they are going to arrest you.
You might leave the encounter feeling confused and overwhelmed, especially if you said things that you are now worried about. Document everything you can remember about the experience immediately afterward while the details are still fresh in your memory.
You may then want to talk to a professional about the encounter. If you said things that could potentially be used against you in terms of future criminal charges, those statements could be thrown out if your rights were violated.