The continued war on drugs and terror has led to the evolution of a somewhat sinister police force and law enforcement agency. Whereas it is absolutely understandable that law enforcers must do what is necessary to keep citizens safe, it is also a constitutional right of every citizen, guilty or otherwise, to be treated fairly and legally within the bounds of the law.
For most people, encounter with the police, or other law enforcement agencies tend to leave a bad taste in the mouth. This is mostly because both parties do not trust each other; maybe due to all the recent excessive force and police shootings making the news rounds. Whatever the case, if you happen to be on the receiving end of police attention, it is often best to know your rights and what you can and can’t do during this encounter. It is also equally as important to know what the law allows the police to do. As much as understanding every aspect of this might require a law degree, as a citizen, there are some basic legal rights that you should have on your fingertips. With that in mind, here are some Important Legal Tips When Dealing with Police.
1. Stay Calm
Whenever stopped by the police for whatever reason, always stay calm. As much as this has nothing to do with legal advice, it is best to know that a bad attitude almost always guarantees a bad outcome for you.
2. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
This is the one thing that protects you as a citizen. A police officer cannot compel you to speak. You have the right to remain silent. Think of it this way, whatever you DO NOT say, cannot hurt you in any way.
3. You can Refuse Searches
You can refuse to be searched. Even though the police might search you anyway, it is often best to make your position known clearly.
4. Out Rightly Ask if You are Free to Go
Do not dance around these lines. The police can hold you for a while if you do not insist on leaving. Expressly as if you are free to go. If you they say no, ask why but in a calm manner. This immediately puts them on the spot. The police need evidence to arrest you. Without any, they open themselves up to possible lawsuits.
5. Insist on Seeing a Warrant
In most cases, the police need a warrant to search your home and even car. This is unless you let them in willingly. Know your rights and ask for a warrant before you let them search your property.
6. Always be on Your Guard
You need to know that the police are legally allowed to lie, intimidate and bluff their way into getting you to incriminate yourself. Do not fall for these tricks. The best way to avoid these traps is to remain silent.
7. Do Not Run or Resist
The police train every day, there are very good chances that they are physically fitter than you are at any given time. If you run, they will catch you and then you will definitely have things for which to answer. Do not resist arrest either nor touch a police officer. Any action deemed as aggressive gives the police the right to respond in kind and in some cases, with lethal force.
Remember to ask for your phone call and a lawyer. Always stay calm and ask why you are being detained.
For more info check out this website: https://www.flexyourrights.org/