Surviving Police Encounters

May 15, 2012

 

Beware – should you get pulled over, the police are not your friends and they are looking to make an arrest.  Nonetheless, you have got to treat them with respect.  

The police must have reasonable suspicion that you have or are committing a crime before they can pull you over.  In other words, there has to be some sort of violation of the law for a traffic stop to be initiated.  If you run a stop sign, fail to signal, or speed, the police have what they need to pull you over.  It’s important to keep in mind that once the emergency lights come on, the cameras are rolling, if they weren’t beforehand.  The police are attempting to collect evidence that can be used against you the entire time they are in contact with you, or while you are in their custody.  The very first question the officer asks you is asked as part of an investigation - an investigation that will be used in the case the officer is building against you.  Whether you are being investigated for DWI or possession of marijuana, you are entitled to refuse to answer their questions without the presence of your attorney.   When invoking your right to have your attorney present, be courteous and respectful.   In the event the case proceeds to a trial, the more polite you are the better you look to those seated in the  jury box.   Being disrespectful, rude, or combative will hurt your defense in the long run.  

Obviously, a police encounter could result in you being arrested.  Be prepared.  Know what to do in the event this happens to you.  Contact a bond company first or apply for a PR bond.  The next call you need to make is to call your attorney.  Valuable evidence can be lost between the time you are arrested and the time your case goes to trial.  We will begin building your defense, and investigating and preserving evidence on your behalf immediately.  The more evidence you have, the better your chances of walking out of court a free person. 

Remember:  Be respectful but not helpful.  Don’t make the prosecutor’s job easier for them! Know your rights and invoke them.