If you are stopped by the police, whether with probable cause or not, you need to know how to handle yourself.
In Kentucky, you have rights even when you have an encouter with the police, and understanding these rights is critical to protecting yourself. Dan Carman wants you to have a clear knowledge of your rights and how you should handle being approached by an officer of the law, so you do not add additional charges to any the officers charge you with.
Understand Your Rights During Police Encounters
First, you need to understand that you have rights, outlined in the Constitution and in Kentucky law, even when facing a police encounter. If you are not aware of those rights, you may find yourself agreeing to a search or conversation that you are not required to allow. If you are approached by the officer, the ACLU reminds you that you have the following rights:
- The right to remain silent. Remember, simply say, “I wish to exercise my right to remain silent,” and you are not required to talk to an officer.
- The right to refuse consent to a search. Whether it’s your person, your clothing, your home, your car or your bag, you do not have to allow a search without a warrant. The one exception is a simple pat down, which the officer can do if he or she suspects you have a weapon.
- The right to calmly leave. Unless the officer is placing you under arrest, you do have the right to walk away calmly.
- The right to a lawyer. If you are arrested, give Dan Carman a call immediately to get prompt representation, because this is your right.
These rights are presented to everyone in the United States, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status. This means that even if you are not a United State citizen, you still have these rights. If you feel that your constitutional rights were violated when you were approached by a police officer, talk to Dan Carman right away to start building a case.
Why are these rights so important? If you say anything during the arrest or allow yourself or your belongings to be searched, it could have negative implications later in court. Always talk to a criminal defense attorney before you tell the police anything or consent to a search without a warrant.
How to Respond if You Are Approached
So, in light of these rights, how should you respond if you are approached by a police officer? First, always act in a calm, polite and respectful manner. Allowing yourself to become emotional or angry will only lead to misbehavior that could cause the situation to escalate. If you wish to assert your constitutional right to refuse a search or remain silent, simply state this calmly.
Ask early in the encounter if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, then walk away without saying anything else. If the officer says no, it may be because you are going to be arrested. Do not panic. Remember, you will have the right to an attorney, and being arrested does not mean you are guilty of a crime. If the officer says you cannot leave, ask to speak to an attorney, and call the Carman Law Firm right away.
Other than when you are exercising your constitutional rights, do not do anything to interfere with or obstruct the actions of the police. Even if the police are becoming aggressive toward you, or try to arrest you on false charges, remain calm and do not interfere. Resisting arrest or obstructing justice is an additional charge you do not need to fight.
If asked a question, either say that you wish to remain silent or tell the truth. Do not lie to an officer or present any false documents. Work to remember the details of the encounter so that you can relay them to your attorney should the need arise.
If you are arrested, calmly state that you wish to talk to your attorney. The officers have to allow you this right before they interrogate you for any reason. As soon as you are able to do so, give Lexington criminal defense attorney Dan Carman a call to discuss your next steps. Do not have any further conversations with the officers until you talk with an attorney.
In most situations, if you remain calm and respectful, you can get through the police encounter without a problem. However, sometimes police officers are overzealous, especially if they suspect that you are armed or dangerous and may violate your rights or treat you too harshly. If this happens, do not react. Instead, remember the details of what happened and talk to Dan Carman about it. You can also file a written complaint with the precinct.
Contact Kentucky Criminal Defense Attorney Dan Carman
Whether you are arrested or not, if you are approached by the police and feel your rights were not protected, give the Carman Law Firm a call. Dan Carman has many years of experience practicing criminal law in Kentucky, and he knows how to handle cases when police officers are not as careful as they should be. Fill out the online form, or call the firm at (859) 838-1415, to get the legal guidance you need.