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.
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.
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.
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.