No really. Never talk to the police without a lawyer present. Even if you are innocent. Watch this video to understand why, but here is the clif-notes version:
The 5th amendment is there to protect you, especially if you are innocent. Almost anything you say can be turned against you, no matter how innocuous the comment may seem. The video shows you how it can be done.
Also, watch the 2nd video further down the page which is a reply by a police officer. He agrees that you shouldn’t talk to the police without a lawyer present. He talks about the techniques that the police use to get people to confess or talk.
The deck is stacked against you unless you have a lawyer with you, and even then it is very easy to trip yourself up. As soon as you get your Miranda Warning, shut up and ask for a lawyer, no matter whether you are guilty or innocent.
Note, the exception is routine traffic stops. If you are pulled over, the first thing you should to do is turn
your car off, turn the dome light on (if it’s nighttime), roll down the
window, and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Don’t immediately
reach into your glove compartment for your license and registration.
Officers want to be able to see your hands for their own safety. Wait
until the officer asks to see your paperwork before retrieving your
The first thing you should say to the officer is, “Hello officer.
Can you tell me why I am being pulled over?” The officer may give you a
hard time or say, “Why do you think I pulled you over?” Tell the
officer you don’t know. Most importantly, do not apologize after you
get stopped, because that can be considered an admission of guilt and
could be used against you later in court.
Show your identification if it’s requested. Be respectful and
non-confrontational. Refer to the police as “Sir,” “Ma’am,” or
“Officer.” Remain calm and quiet while the officer is reviewing your
documents. If the officer writes you a ticket, accept it quietly and
never complain. Listen to any instruction on paying the fine or
contesting the ticket, and drive away slowly.
Again, admit to nothing and do not apologize. If the situation escallates, then ask for a lawyer.