Even in the best circumstances, let's face it, it is an uncomfortable feeling to be questioned by police. Even if it is just an incidental conversation, people can feel like they are on high alert, or need to watch every word they say. What your rights are during questioning will depend on what type of encounter it is, a voluntary conversation, investigative detention, or an arrest.
If you are having a conversation with a police officer, or if you are being detained and questioned, you do not have to answer any via your 4th Amendment and Nevada Constitutional right to remain silent. If you feel that the conversation is taking a turn that is making you uncomfortable, it is best to be cooperative and polite, but not divulge anything further.
If you have been arrested and the police want to ask you questions, law enforcement should read you your Miranda rights. These rights were set out by the Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436. In this decision it stated that:
- You have a right to remain silent
- Anything you say can be used against you
- You have a right to consult a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer and have one present during questioning
- If you cannot afford a lawyer one will be appointed to you
It is important to note that these rights only apply if you are in police custody. It is important to note that if you are read your rights, you should acknowledge that you understand them. If you choose to waive them, anything you say can be used against you in court. (Read our related article on California law, "Suspects should never give statements to the police in California.")