Tips for dealing with the police
Imagine this: you’re the designated driver for a group of friends who have been out drinking. They had a few too many, but you didn’t drink anything but water all night. Now, as you’re driving them home, the police stop and pull you over for going 5-over the speed limit. What do you do?
A police stop can be scary, even if you know you’ve done nothing wrong. While we all hope that police officers will be fair and just, they do not always respect citizen rights. It is important to avoid doing anything that could risk your safety or your freedom.
Here are some general guidelines for dealing with the police if they stop you:
- Stay respectful and calm, and watch what you say.
- Remember, what you say “can and will be used against you in court.” and can give the police an excuse to arrest you.
- Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
- Do not argue with a police officer.
- Do not touch a police officer.
- Do not run from a police officer.
It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer might make the police suspicious about you. Police may pat down your clothing if they suspect you of concealing a weapon. Be clear that you do not consent to any searches, either of your vehicle or person.
What should you do when a police stop turns into an arrest?
First, ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have the right to know why. If the police detain or arrest you, you don’t have to answer any questions outside of typical booking questions, such as your name, address, etc. MAKE SURE TO ASK FOR YOUR ATTORNEY ONCE YOU ARE DETAINED OR ARRESTED. Do so in a very clear manner. For example, don’t just ask: “should I have an attorney for this?”, but do say: “I want my attorney now.” If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do not say anything more than you have to. You can make your case about your side of the story in court.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, call Stowers & Sarcone today at (515) 224-7446. Protect your rights! Act now!