Having an interaction with the police can be extremely scary and intimidating. It does not matter if you did or did not do something illegal; what matters is you know your rights and you do everything to protect yourself and your future.
The first thing you should do if you are asked to do something by a policeman is ask if you are under arrest and/or if they have a warrant. If the answer is no, you do not have to comply with their demands. People have a tendency to do whatever the police say to them and it usually does not actually help them. Remain to be polite but also remember you do not have to do what they are asking if you are not under arrest or if they do not have a warrant. Along the same lines, you do not have to give them consent to search your car and you do not have to let them see your cell phone. Doing these things does not make you look guilty; it ensures you protected yourself and your future from the start.
The police are not the only ones that can ask questions. You have the right to ask questions, too. So if you are unsure about something or want more information, make sure you ask the questions.
It is imperative you do not make any admissions in writing, orally or otherwise. You do not have to give your side of the story to the police and you should not. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea to tell the police what happened, but experience shows there isn’t anything you can say that will change their minds.
Everyone knows you have the right to remain silent but not everyone realizes the importance of doing just that. You do not have to speak without an attorney present and you should not. Ask for a phone call, and if you are not under arrest, you can make any and as many calls as you want. It is also important to realize if you are not under arrest, you can walk out of the room: they cannot hold you and if they do, they are breaking the law.
Guilty or not guilty, we all have rights. It is important we know these rights and take them seriously. Your future could very well depend on it.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us today.