Keep this in your wallet - OR - Memorize it.
If you have a confrontation with the police - know your rights and know what you should or should not do to give them up. Just follow these 10 rules:
1. Don't Talk.
Do not say a word to the officer. Just shut up! I cannot stress to you the importance of this rule. Do not talk! Do not attempt to convince the officer of your innocence. Everyone is innocent, no one should be arrested and no one should be in jail and that is all the officer hears all day every day. He / she does not care generally whether you are innocent or guilty and there is nothing that he / she can do at this point. Most times, when people speak to officers they say something that makes their situation far worse. Keep your mouth shut, there will be plenty of time to talk later.
2. Don't Run.
I said above to listen to the officer and follow his / her instructions. Do not be scared and do not let the liquid courage, aka alcohol, convince you that you can outrun the twelve officers and helicopter that will track you down. Also, police become highly suspicious that someone running has a weapon and may be quick to draw their weapon. Additionally, when they do run you down expect much stronger force used to subdue a fleeing suspect.
3. Never Resist Arrest.
Perhaps the most important thing not to do is touch the police officer at all! Again, sober up quick and follow what the officer says. Many people attempt to bump the officer or swat an officers hands away. This often falls under the assault statutes and now a minor misdemeanor arrest becomes a FELONY. Thus a reckless driving charge leads to a year or more in state prison. Additionally, touching the officer in any way can lead to a baton in the mouth.
4. Don't Believe the Police.
It is perfectly legal for the police to lie to get you to make an admission. The police frequently separate two friends and tell one the other one ratted him / her out. Because of the lie, the other friend now rats the first friend out. Police and detectives also state that "it will be easier" to talk now...LIES!!! DON'T BELIEVE THIS BS! It will only be easier for the police to prove their case!
5. No Searching.
Do not allow the police to search anywhere! If the police officer asks, they do not have the right to search and must have your consent. If you are asked make sure you proclaim to any witnesses that "You (the police) do not have consent to search." If they perform the search anyway, that evidence may be thrown out later. Also, if you consent to a search, the officers may find something that you had no idea you had placed somewhere, ie: marijuana left by a friend. Remember, that denying the police consent to search DOES NOT give them the probable cause they would need to conduct a search.
6. Don't Look At Places Where You Don't Want Police to Search.
Police are trained to watch you and react to you. They know that you are nervous and scared and many people look to the areas that they don't want the police to search. Do not react to the search and do not answer any questions. LOOK DOWN AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!
7. Do Not Talk Shit to the Police.
I don't care if you have been wrongly arrested and the true culprit is standing in front of you. Don't talk shit! Police hear all day that my dad is the the Governor's Assistant's Intern and I will have your badge for this! Police have a lot of discretion in the upcoming charges brought. Police can add charges, change a misdemeanor to a felony, or even talk to the prosecutor that is ultimately prosecuting you.
8. If Police Come to Your Home, Do not Let Them In and Do Not Step Outside Your Home.
If the police are confident you have committed a felony, they are coming in anyway, because they generally don't need an arrest warrant. Make it clear to the police by stating: "No you may not come in", or "I am comfortable talking right here", or "You need a search warrant to enter my home." If they return, your attorney can arrange for you to turn yourself in should that be necessary and you will spend no time in jail between the hearings.
9. Outside Your Home Arrested, Do Not Accept Offer to Go In Your Home for Anything.
The officer may say to you, how about you go inside and change, freshen up, talk to your wife, husband, get a jacket, or any other reason. The police will graciously escort you in and then tear your home apart searching through it. Also, do not let them secure your car. Your car is fine. Remember they are lying to you. They don't give a damn if you are really cold or if you need to talk to your wife or husband.
10. Don't say a word.
It's incredible how many people feel that they can convince the officer, the booking officer or a detective (if your case reaches that stature) that they are not guilty. YOUR CASE IS NOT DECIDED BY THESE PEOPLE. They have no affect on your records. Wait to speak to your lawyer! The courts give enormous weight to "confessions" during this stage. A suspect is almost NEVER released after being arrested.
Follow these ten simply rules religiously and many of your rights will remain intact. I don't care how nervous, scared or drunk you are, THESE RULES ARE VERY IMPORTANT, and will help you tremendously in the short and long run. And remember - we are not your lawyer!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
10 Things to Remember When Confronted By The Police - Avoid the "Bro, Don't Tase Me" Moment!