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Talking to the police

What should I tell the police?

Most of the time, you don't have to answer police questions. You usually don't even have to give your name, age, or address.

But there are times when you have to give the police your name, age, and address. For example, the most common times when you have to do this are when the police:

If you give the wrong information, you could be charged with a crime. So it's important to tell the truth.

If the police stop you when you're driving, you must also give them:

  • your driver's licence
  • ownership papers for the car you're driving
  • insurance papers for the car you're driving

What you shouldn't tell the police

If you say anything more than your name, you're making a statementA statement is anything that you tell the police or someone in authority. You can give a statement by saying it out loud or by putting it in writing. Even if you don't sign anything or the police don't write down or videotape what you said, what you say is still a statement.X .

A statementA statement is anything that you tell the police or someone in authority. You can give a statement by saying it out loud or by putting it in writing. Even if you don't sign anything or the police don't write down or videotape what you said, what you say is still a statement.X is usually about the event the police are looking into. But it can be anything else you tell them. Some examples of a statement are:

A statementA statement is anything that you tell the police or someone in authority. You can give a statement by saying it out loud or by putting it in writing. Even if you don't sign anything or the police don't write down or videotape what you said, what you say is still a statement.X also includes answering "yes" or "no" to police questions.

You should speak to a lawyer before deciding whether or not to make a statementA statement is anything that you tell the police or someone in authority. You can give a statement by saying it out loud or by putting it in writing. Even if you don't sign anything or the police don't write down or videotape what you said, what you say is still a statement.X . If you want to make a statement, the police will usually videotape your statement.

You might not want to make a statementA statement is anything that you tell the police or someone in authority. You can give a statement by saying it out loud or by putting it in writing. Even if you don't sign anything or the police don't write down or videotape what you said, what you say is still a statement.X because it can be used later in court if you're charged with a crime.

You never have to make a statementA statement is anything that you tell the police or someone in authority. You can give a statement by saying it out loud or by putting it in writing. Even if you don't sign anything or the police don't write down or videotape what you said, what you say is still a statement.X . Just because you don't say anything, doesn't mean that you will look guilty. You have the "right to remain silent".

(Reviewed August 2015)