Bowden Law, PLLC
How to Respond if You Are Stopped By a Police Officer
I know how it goes, one minute you are driving along and the next you see sirens in your review mirror. Being pulled over by the police can be terrifying, you are never quite sure what the reason is. It is very important that you are prepared and informed of your rights in case you ever find yourself in this scary situation. How you communicate with the police officer can mean the difference between an arrest and a warning. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips on how to respond when you are pulled over by an officer.
- Be sure to have your driver's license and your registration information handy. Whenever you are stopped by a police officer they will ask you for your license and registration.
- If the police decide to detain you or arrest you, you don't have to answer any of their questions. All the police have a right to know is your name. Any other question can be answered after you have spoken with your attorney. Remember that anything you say or do can be used against you later on in your case so the less that you say the better.
- If the police ask to search your or your vehicle, you DO NOT have to give them your consent. If you say yes then whatever they find can and will be used against you in court. The only reason that police can search your vehicle or your home without your consent is if they have an official search warrant. If they claim that they have one you should always ask to see it to make sure that they are not lying.
- Be sure that you never interfere with police business or obstruct the police because that could lead to your arrest.
- Choose your words carefully when you speak to a police officer. They will be analyzing every word, every move and every facial expression.
- Don't argue with the police officer or badmouth them because that will only give them more reason to find a way to arrest you.
- Don't ever resist arrest or try to flee. If you are innocent it is still never a good idea to resist arrest because that can lead to enhanced penalties.
- Be sure to hold your hand high where the police can see them and never lay hands on a police officer.
- If you can try to get the patrol car number or get a look at the officer's badge. You never know when that information can come in handy.
- If there were any witnesses who saw you getting arrested, try and get their name and contact information. Witness testimonies can sometimes make or break a case.
- Don't lie to the police because it is better to say nothing at all.
- Try not to make any sudden movements that will make the police officer suspicious.
- If you have a license to carry a weapon and your weapon is in your vehicle, then be sure to inform the police officer.
- If the arresting officers injured you in any way, make sure that you seek medical attention. You should also take a picture of your injuries as further proof for your case.
- If you believe that the arresting officers violated your rights at any point, then you should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know has been arrested in Macomb County or Oakland County, contact J.T. Bowden, Attorney at Law immediately.