Many people are intimidated or afraid of he police and believe whatever they tell them; however, if the police stop you, you have more rights and power than you may realize.
1. The police cannot stop you for no reason, or to just check your identification. They need "reasonable suspicion" that you have, or were about to violate a law.
2. If you are stopped, ask the officer for the reason for the stop and whether you are free to go, or if you are being detained. Also, check to see if they are wearing a body camera.
3. Your only obligations when confronted by the police is to provide your name and identification and not argue or fight with them or try to leave/flee the scene, until they say you are free to leave.
4.Despite what the officer may tell or threaten you, you do not, and should not answer any questions, including:"where are you coming from, where are you going, do you have anything illegal on you or in the car, have you been drinking, etc..." Simply state that you are not answering any questions. The officer may try and intimidate you by saying: "if you make it hard on me I'll make it hard on you, or you must be guilty if you wont cooperate, or you're being rude not speaking with me,etc..." Ignore those statements and continue your silence, or you can tell the officer you'll agree to talk of you can speak to your attorney and he tells you to talk. The police know that will never happen. Most non-career criminals make the mistake of talking with the police, and what they say usually helps to convict them, so, despite what the police promise or threaten, NEVER talk to them, or give any statement, until you speak with an attorney.
5. Do not consent to any search of you, your vehicle or home.
6. Do not remove anything from your pockets, even if they ask. They can only pat you down for weapons when they are first talking to you and only search you if they arrest you; however if you cooperate and remove things from your pockets, you are essentially consenting to producing incriminating evidence. Simply tell them that you are not consenting to any search and will not voluntarily remove anything from your pockets. If they want to remove something from you they have to do it.
7. Be polite,but firm with your rights, but NEVER run or fight with any officer. If they do anything wrong the time to argue about it is in court.
8. Make a mental note of each officers name, any witnesses (try and get their names and addresses once you are free to leave), and video cameras on the officers, in their cars, on nearby buildings, or taken by the witnesses.
9. As soon as you're released, or as soon as you can speak to a family member or friend if you are arrested, contact an experienced criminal attorney immediately.
I have over 25 years experience successfully handling all types of criminal and DUI cases. If you, a family member or friend need help with a criminal or DUI matter, call me for a free consultation. I'll explain the charges and how I can help you.
All the best!
RANDY C. REDDEN