A lot of people get nervous around police officers, and understandably so. There are some people who, when they get nervous, begin to engage in small talk with police officers. Sometimes, this is just a defense mechanism to ease the nerves. But other times, it can be a tactic to build rapport and hopefully, get out of trouble.
However, engaging in small talk with the police is not something anyone wants to do as it can lead to more harm than good.
Police Can Only Hold You For a Limited Period of Time
Many don’t know this, but police officers are only allowed to hold a person for a limited period of time. In a traffic stop, for example, they can only keep the driver pulled over for as long as it takes to get their business done, i.e. perusing the driver’s license and registration. After that, they are obligated to let the driver go.
Small Talk Extends the Investigation
However, when the driver engages in small talk with the police, asking them about their day, talking about recent events, or even prolonging the conversation with unnecessary arguing or explaining, the investigation extends for longer than usual.
This allows an officer to hold the driver for longer to investigate or even call for backup and canines to sniff out the vehicle.
So that drivers or anyone under police investigation can protect their rights, they should never engage in small talk with the police. Let them do what they need to do, keep the encounter brief, and avoid intentionally extending the investigation.