You might be familiar with your constitutional right to remain silent. This is important because law enforcement can use whatever you say against you. However, a police badge can intimidate people into thinking an officer can require someone to answer some questions.
When you have an encounter with a police officer, it is important to keep calm. The truth is that the police have little authority to require you to answer anything.
Providing information at a traffic stop
In the event a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of violating a traffic law, the officer will likely ask you to provide certain information, including your driving license, your proof of insurance and your automobile registration.
However, this does not mean you must answer questions from the officer. You can insist on the right to an attorney if an officer broadens inquiries beyond asking to see your vehicle information and auto insurance.
Requirements to identify yourself
People from out of state might have told you about “stop and identify” laws. These are laws which require you to give your name if an officer has reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime.
However, not every state has this law. Maryland does not have a stop and identify law on the books. Still, state law does allow the police to ask for your name and address if they suspect you possess a handgun in violation of Maryland law.
No matter your situation, remember that your constitutional rights always apply. If you have fulfilled your legal obligations, you do not need to provide statements which could hurt you in court.