19th Sep 2014
When it comes to interacting with law enforcement, most people do not normally consider such an encounter until they find themselves in a situation that attracts police attention. Such scenarios often come when least expected so people are caught off guard. They forget or do not remember that they have very important and critical constitutional rights. A poor decision may worsen the legal encounter.
Your first action upon being the subject of an investigation, seizure or even being placed under arrest should be to seek legal assistance. A major metropolitan and cosmopolitan area such as South Florida makes qualified representation available. The outcome of a legal encounter may very well hinge upon how you react. Here’s a brief guide to interacting with police in order to minimize both your inconvenience and the escalation of the encounter.
Do not escalate the situation and aggravate law enforcement.Even if you believe that your rights are being violated, or that the police are behaving improperly, obey commands and do not offer physical resistance or aggression. Resistance or verbal abuse will only escalate the situation and make things worse.
Document.Try to keep track of every detail. If possible, make a note of officers’ names and badge numbers, car numbers, and details like the time and circumstances.
Inquire. Law enforcement needs a legal reason to detain you, and “probable cause” to search you or your possessions, vehicle or home. Ask why you have been detained, whether you are being arrested, and what their probable cause is. Make a note of these details.
If you are arrested, contact an attorney at the first opportunity. Finding an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney is definitely a priority.