Most people know how it feels to be pulled over by a law enforcement officer. It’s not uncommon to feel anxious, even if it’s for a simple traffic violation or a broken taillight. Interacting with a police officer can be stressful for some people, and therefore it’s important to know your rights before finding yourself in that situation. Knowing your rights can help you remain calm and possibly prevent the situation from escalating.
First, you have the right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any questions, with the exception of providing your name and identification to the officer.
You have the right to refuse consent of search of your person or belongings. Police may perform a pat-down if they suspect you are concealing a weapon. It’s important to remember in this situation that you or your vehicle may still be searched against your objections. However, vocalizing your objection may help preserve your rights in any further legal proceedings.
If you get arrested, you have the right to speak with an attorney, either court-appointed or hired privately.
You should not run or resist an officer’s attempt at arrest. If you choose to answer questions asked by an officer, you should not lie or give false information, and remember that you may invoke your right to remain silent at any time.
Suppose you have been injured or feel that your rights were otherwise violated during an encounter with the police. In that case, you should immediately write down what you remember including names and badge numbers and document any evidence of injury. If possible, collect statements from witnesses. You may choose to file a complaint with the agency’s oversight division, or you may choose to consult with an attorney to determine what further action to take.
If your encounter with law enforcement results in your arrest or if you feel your rights were violated during an encounter, contact the lawyers at Hoover Kacyon, LLC. We are dedicated to supporting our clients. We deliver the highest quality legal representation from a team of professionals while also providing excellent customer service. Getting the best possible outcome is our goal.