When stopped by an officer, are you obligated to speak?

What exactly are you obligated, and not obligated, to do?

Asked on August 3, 2015 under General Practice, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You are obligated to provide proof of your identity, of having a valid license, of the car's registration, and of having insurance. You do not need to answer other questions, but bear in mind that if you do not, or if you give suspicious answers, the officer is entitled to consider your answers--or lack thereof--and demeanor in deciding whether or not to investigate further or even arrest. 

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