Interacting With Police

It can be alarming to be stopped by law enforcement regardless of the circumstances. Though most people will feel some amount of pressure when encountering the police, it’s important to maintain your composure and keep your rights in mind. Here are three types of interactions and how to best respond.

Conversation

If an officer stops you to have a conversation, understand that anything you tell them could potentially be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to ask if you are being detained, and if not, you can simply walk away.

Detention

Police may detain you if they have a reasonable suspicion that you were involved in a crime. An officer must be able to articulate why you are being detained. Ask politely why you are being detained, and if you are free to go. You will be asked for details with which to identify yourself, including your name, address, and date of birth. No further questions should be answered without a lawyer present.

Arrest

If an officer has witnessed you committing a crime, has a reasonable suspicion that you have, or has acquired an arrest warrant signed by a judge, you may be arrested. Even if you feel you are being wrongfully arrested, it is in your best interests to go quietly. A wrongful arrest is best handled with the help of a capable lawyer. At the time of arrest, you are only obligated to give your name, address, and date of birth. Keep in mind that officers are not legally obligated to be truthful and may look for ways to wear down your resolve. Stay silent and ask for your lawyer.

Regardless of which category your interaction falls into, remember that behaving in a disgruntled, angry, or destructive fashion can greatly hurt your case in court. The Law Office of Jesse Hernandez can provide you with a criminal attorney in San Antonio, TX. Call us today for a free case consultation.

Courtroom Etiquette

No matter what crime you’ve been charged with, many things about appearing in court remain the same. For one, courtroom customs are practically universal. If you’re anxiously awaiting your first appearance in court, visualizing your experience in advance can help you remain calm and collected when the day comes. Here are some guidelines to help you conduct yourself appropriately—something that will almost certainly factor into the court’s decision.

What To Wear

You should dress for court much in the same way you would for a formal job interview. For gentlemen this means a collared shirt, suit, and dress shoes. Conservative tops paired with slacks or skirts of a professional length are ideal for ladies. Make the best with what you have if these specific articles of clothing aren’t available. Anyone appearing in court should ensure that they are well-groomed on their court date: a shower and a shave can go a long way.

Demeanor

A visit to court should be handled with utmost seriousness. This is not a good time to act playfully or tell jokes, as even subtle behaviors may be interpreted as disrespectful conduct. Never speak over anyone else in court. If an attorney or judge begins speaking over you, pause until they are finished. If you feel it is important to continue where you left off, you may ask to continue your statement.

What To Say

It’s important to answer questions honestly and directly. Be very careful not to provide any more information than is specifically asked of you. In many cases, questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. If you misspeak, ask if you can correct your statement, and try to stay calm. It is perfectly normal to find yourself feeling unnerved while on the stand. Giving yourself a moment to take a breath before continuing is a right you retain at all times.

An aggressive defense lawyer is one of the greatest assets you can have on your day in court. Reach out to our office if you are seeking a San Antonio, Texas DWI Lawyer and would like a free consultation on your case.