Why do patrol officers make small talk?
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Why do patrol officers make small talk?

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2022 | Criminal Defense, DWI

If you have ever interacted with a member of law enforcement, you may have found him or her to be chatty. While some officers are introverts who enjoy meeting others, cops typically do not make small talk to be affable. This is especially true if they think you have done something unlawful.

When you encounter an officer during a roadside stop, he or she may ask where you have been, where you are going, where you live or something else. Each of these questions can induce you into making incriminating statements.

Finding a rationale

Sometimes, even though they cannot identify exactly why, officers have a hunch a motorist may be doing something wrong. If officers turn on their lights and pull over the driver, they may be searching for a rationale for their stop.

This approach puts the cart in front of the horse in a concerning way. Still, according to PEW, officers might uncover a legally valid reason for stopping a vehicle after talking to its driver.

Investigating a crime

If officers have reason to believe you might have violated the law, they have a duty to gather as much information as possible. Nevertheless, they do not want you either to clam up or refuse to answer questions.

Because it is disarming, engaging in small talk may help officers investigate a crime without alerting you to their efforts. That is, you may not realize you are in the hot seat until after you have provided damaging information.

Ultimately, because you simply cannot know why officers are being chatty with you, it is advisable to say as little as possible during any roadside stop.