February 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- What are your rights when dealing with the police?
Article provided by Orent Law Offices, PLC
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Did you know:
whether or not you actually broke the law, law enforcement agents can arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime?
that unless they arrest you in your home, they do not need an arrest warrant to take you into custody?
whether you are guilty or innocent, there are a few things you should do to avoid making things worse?
Protect your rightsandcooperate with law enforcement
-If you are pulled over by the police in your car, stop as soon as possible and in a safe and well-lit area. Keep your hands on the steering wheel until the officer asks you to retrieve something. Be as polite as possible and comply with all of the officers' commands. Do not argue with him or her. And do not admit to any wrongdoing.
-If the police properly "stop" you on a public street, under some circumstances you must provide your real name, but you have the right to stop the conversation and move along unless the officers have a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing that justifies an investigative detention. Assert your rights politely and move on.
-If law enforcement officers come to search your home they must have a valid search warrant signed by a judge or other judicial officer. If they have one, ask to see it to determine the scope of the approved search. Never consent to a search of your home or any part of it if the police do not have a warrant. But you should still comply with their commands.
-If the police arrest you, do not resist. Not only is it a separate crime, but it does not inspire confidence in your claims of innocence, nor is a claim that the arrest was not supported by probable cause a defense to the charge of resisting arrest. No matter how the police treat you, always be respectful and polite. This will prevent making the situation personal with the officers and it always looks good to a judge and jury that an arrested person cooperated with the police.
Know and exercise your constitutional rights
Before any law enforcement officer can question you about the alleged crime while you are in custody, they must provide you with Miranda warnings. You've surely heard them on television or in the movies. In general, you must be advised that you have the right to remain silent, that anything you say can be used against you, that you have the right to the presence of an attorney and if you cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed to represent you.
Even if you are innocent and want to tell the police your side of the story, don't do it. Nothing good comes of making a statement to the police before consulting with a defense attorney. However, do not be rude when asserting your rights. Consider saying something like, "Officer, I really want to help with your investigation, but I'd first like to speak to an attorney." At that point, any questioning must stop. Remember that you must verbally assert your right to remain silent or to speak with an attorney.
Many law enforcement officers will ask for consent to search your home, your car or other areas. The police can search you and your clothing before taking you into custody, but they must have your consent or a search warrant to go any farther. They can also pat down your clothing if they suspect you are concealing a weapon and can search your vehicle if it will be towed and impounded. Do not consent to a search. Again, be polite but firm while exercising your rights.
The Constitution gives you the right to be free from unwanted government intrusion. While the police have the right to investigate crimes, there are rules, and knowing them will help you protect yourself. If you or a loved one has already been arrested, contact an experience criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your situation and your options.---
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