I like to watch quite a few crime dramas on television, especially Law and Order. I am always amused at how the courtroom scenes and the police interrogations go. Of course it's television, so one should take it all with a grain of salt.
I am amazed at how witnesses and suspects on TV talk their asses off. The police or a lawyer ask someone a simple question, and the person launches into an elaborate story.
Example question: "On the night of 12-24-2011, were you driving a blue Toyota in Queens?"
Television suspect answer: "No. I had had a flat tire in that car, so I left it on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that morning and called my mother who came out in her red Oldsmobile to get me and we went to the Midtown Diner to eat, then I dropped her off at home, then went back to Queens to see my buddy Johnny. Oh, and I went by the dry cleaners to get my shirts."
Can you imagine saying all that? In real life, the correct answer to the above question would be either YES or NO. If they want to know more, make them ask you. Don't give away two dozen details that might give you away, or even worse, get you framed up if innocent. It's their job to find out things. Let them do it. Even better, ask for a lawyer first unless they start slamming you upside the head with a New York City telephone book.
The ACLU has downloadable printable guides that give advice on how to handle these things and even practice videos with which to play along. Of course you never know what you are going to do until faced with the situation, but some practice never hurts. I've printed out some of the Spanish-language guides for my Mexican (yet American citizen) friends who have been stopped for DWB (Driving While Brown).
I find being not being loose at the lips to be a pretty good life policy anyway. I might run on at the mouth on my opera, but in daily life, if someone I don't know is seeking information for free from me, either in person or on the telephone, I answer concisely, if at all. They can give the longest most embarrassing pregnant pause in the world hoping for more information, and I'll just stand there blinking like an idiot. 😆