Police contact can be scary even if you have done nothing wrong. If you are stopped by law enforcement, you now face the challenges of a possible arrest and time in custody. Your words and actions are important at this time so that you can avoid complicating an already difficult situation. You should follow several suggestions that will help things go smoothly for you.
Do not get worked up or angry. Anger will only cause the police to respond in kind with force toward you whether verbal or physical. They will write up any aggression you show in a report and may have video to document your behavior. You need to show police your hands and cooperate with them so they don’t think you are hiding anything, such as drugs or a weapon.
Demonstrate Respect and Courtesy
Law enforcement will ask for identification, your name and your address. Answer questions if you must but limit what you say. The police will write down or record your words and can use them against you in a court of law. You have the legal right to remain silent.
The police may not search you or your vehicle unless they have a warrant. However, if they think you have done something illegal or if you are arrested, they can legally search you. They might ask you for permission to do a search, it is up to you to decide if you will grant them permission. You do not have to grant them your permission to conduct a search, but if they say they have probable cause, you should not try to stop them.
When you are dealing with law enforcement, observe names and badge numbers along with other details about the officer. Record this information as soon as you can. Ask a friend or witness to watch your interaction with the officers. Most police officers serve and protect the community. However, even one or two law enforcement officers who engage in abusive behavior could hurt you or lie about you. Witnesses can testify to your side of the story and back you up in court if needed.
Do not resist arrest. It is a separate charge that will add to possible penalties you face. The police may hurt you if you do not cooperate. You have the right to call someone but remember the call might be recorded.
If you are hurt by a police officer, make sure you document the injury. Seek treatment quickly and take pictures of the damages. Write down or record your version of events. You have the right to file a legal complaint if your rights have been violated.
Contact your New Port Richey Criminal Defense Attorney at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins immediately for best results.