If an officer places you under arrest, you may face many questions. An officer has the right to ask you questions, but in most cases, you have the right to not answer these questions. Beyond providing the initial information to identify yourself or provide information you must under the law, such as proof of auto insurance, you do not have to provide officers with any information because you have the right to remain silent.
Most people know about the right to remain silent, but they do not put it into practice. The ACLU explains that it is essential that you understand and use this right because anything you say to an officer after he or she places you under arrest is evidence that the prosecution can use against you in court. There are other risks that you take when you get chatty with officers after your arrest.
You could risk your right to stay in the country
When you answer questions about your citizenship, you could tip off officers about your legal status. If you talk too much, you may give them enough to begin procedures to remove you from the country. While they will eventually discover your citizenship status, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by not providing it to them in the minutes after your arrest.
You could provide information without knowing
Officers have training in how to ask questions that seem innocent. They know what to say to you to get you talking. You may give them information that seems irrelevant but provides them the evidence they need to get a conviction in court. You have to avoid chatting with officers once they place you under arrest because they will note everything you say and try to use it against you.
The bottom line is that you need not talk at all if you are under arrest. You should only speak to your lawyer from this point forward to protect yourself.