What to Say When a Cop Asks How Fast You Were Going

What to Say When a Cop Asks How Fast You Were Going

Being pulled over by a police officer can be a stressful experience for any driver. When faced with questions about your speed, it’s crucial to know how to respond in a way that protects your legal rights. The question, “How fast were you going?” may seem straightforward, but it carries significant implications. The police are trained to gather incriminating information, and a hasty or uninformed response could potentially harm your defense in the event of a traffic violation charge. In this blog post, we will explore the best approach to handling this situation. By understanding your rights and employing strategic communication techniques, you can navigate encounters with the police while safeguarding your interests.

Answer “Yes” But Do Not Elaborate

When a police officer pulls you over and asks how fast you were going, it can be a nerve-wracking situation. You may feel pressured to provide a detailed response or admit to speeding. However, it is important to remember that you have rights, and the police are trained to gather information that may incriminate you. To protect yourself legally, it is best to answer with a simple “yes” but avoid offering any additional information. You are not obligated to estimate your speed, tell the officer you were in a hurry, or otherwise discuss the situation.

The Police Are Trained to Get You to Incriminate Yourself

Law enforcement officers receive extensive training on conducting traffic stops and questioning individuals. Their primary goal is to gather evidence and enforce traffic laws, which includes obtaining admissions of guilt from drivers. They may use various tactics to obtain incriminating statements, even if you didn’t realize you were providing self-incriminating information. Therefore, it is crucial to be cautious and mindful of what you say during interactions with the police.

Rely on Non-Committal Answers

When faced with the question, “How fast were you going?” it is advisable to respond with a non-committal answer. By avoiding specifics, you protect yourself from inadvertently providing evidence against your interests. When possible, it is a good idea to respond to police with statements like “I understand.” This answer is responsive and courteous without giving the police an admission of wrongdoing.

See Also: Am I Notified When a Warrant is Issued?

Do Not Lie to the Police

While it is essential to protect your rights and avoid self-incrimination, it is equally crucial to remember that lying to the police is illegal and can have serious consequences. Providing false information to law enforcement officers can lead to charges of obstruction of justice, which is a criminal offense. It is crucial to find a balance between protecting your rights and maintaining honesty during interactions with the police.

It is important to note that remaining calm and respectful throughout the encounter is vital. Becoming argumentative or confrontational will not help your situation and may escalate matters unnecessarily. It is within your rights to assert your constitutional protections without being aggressive or uncooperative.


When a police officer asks how fast you were going, it is crucial to exercise caution and protect your legal rights. Remember that the police are trained to gather evidence and anything you say can be used against you. By answering with a simple “yes” but avoiding elaboration, relying on non-committal responses, and refraining from lying to the police, you can navigate these situations while protecting yourself legally.

It is also advisable to consult with an attorney if you have concerns about any interactions with law enforcement. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances and ensure that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process. Remember, being knowledgeable about your rights and acting within the bounds of the law can help you navigate encounters with the police more effectively.

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