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Say and do or don’t do this when stopped by police

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

What you say and how you act when police stop you can follow you during the entire criminal investigation and prosecution. Do not expect that police will be fair or concerned about your rights. They are legally allowed to lie, intimidate, and bluff in these encounters.

Stopped for questioning

Your criminal defense may rely on your statements and actions during any type of police stop.

Ask if you are free to go. If the officer says yes, leave calmly. If police refuse, ask why you are being stopped.

Clearly state that you want to remain silent. Police cannot arrest or detain you for refusing to answer their questions. Starting to answer their questions and stopping is your right but makes you look suspicious.

Tell police you do not consent to a search. Do not resist or run away if they search you anyway.

Do not act disrespectful because it may lead to your arrest. Tell police you want to stay quiet but never lie. Do not attempt to bribe a police officer.

Car stops

If asked during a traffic stop, you have to show your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. You must also provide your name, birth date, and sign any ticket that police give you.

Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Tell the police officer before taking actions such as getting your registration, opening the glove compartment, or reaching in your jacket.

Tell the police you do not consent to a search. Keep your vehicle interior clear of unnecessary objects because this may give the police a reason to conduct a search.

Ask about the consequences if you refuse to take a pre-arrest breath test. However, you may lose your license under implied consent laws if you refuse to take a post-arrest blood or alcohol test.

If you are arrested, ask if you can park your car in a safe location or have a licensed motorist drive it away to avoid towing or impoundment costs.

When police approach your vehicle, do not play music loudly. Hanging objects on a rearview mirror may provide an excuse for police to pull your vehicle over. Do not look for a license or registration until police ask you because it appears that you are trying to hide something.

Recording police

You may record police law enforcement officers on streets, sidewalks, parks, and other public places. Record these activities if it is safe to do so.

You should seek legal representation as soon as possible. Lawyers may help protect your rights.