Last week we discussed the wisdom of "remaining silent" in the face of police questioning. We discussed how the Supreme Court's Miranda v. Arizona case places upon the police an affirmative obligation to advise a person in their custody of certain rights, among these being the right to say nothing at all.
To re-cap, it is usually a good idea to exercise this most important right, when faced with police interrogation involving anything at all of a serious nature. What the police might then call your "lack of cooperation" could lead to you spending the night in jail. This, however, is usually far preferable to incriminating yourself and (later on) spending many nights in jail.
The Right to Remain Silent is part of the "Miranda warning" which the police are supposed to give you upon your arrest. However, you have this right even before the police remind you of it. You conduct your day to day activities while cloaked with this critical protection. You do not need for an officer to advise or remind you of this right before it kicks in to protect you.
Another right you always have is the right to be represented by an attorney. Most people do not need an attorney to conduct their daily affairs, but events can and do sometimes occur for which you should absolutely seek legal counsel and protection. Being questioned by police on any sort of serious matter is surely one of those times.