When To Say NO To Law Enforcement
When a law enforcement officer stops you for some reason or comes to your home, there’s some things you must know. Knowing when and how to properly say “No” to an officer can sound scary, but it falls under your rights. You might get a little shaken up by the sudden stop. Getting nervous can send signals to the officer that you’re hiding something. Remember, getting nervous, even if completely innocent, is completely natural. We associate getting stopped by an officer of any sort with guilt that may not even exist. We often see people comply with everything an officer says and asks in fear of the consequences. It’s unfortunate, but there are things you can do to end things right then and there. Here’s a few things to remember if you ever get stopped by law enforcement.
What To Say And How To Act With Law Enforcement
If you’re getting stopped, the first thing you need to do is just stay calm. Speaking with a calm and slow voice will pace yourself from saying anything that you shouldn’t, or overthinking the situation. Moving slowly and keeping your hands within visibility of the law enforcement officer will assure them safety. If you start putting your hands in your pockets or behind your back, it can cause them to get immediately suspicious and irritated.
Try to reduce tensions and do anything you can to provide a peaceful and cooperative presence. If the officer thinks that you’re dangerous, things can quickly get out of hand for no reason other than your behavior. For the most part, you will want to comply with their demands. If they do, however, make you do something by force or against your constitutional rights, you can use that to challenge them in court.
You should try to understand their position at the same time. Law enforcement should try to keep their communities safe, and they’re constantly on the watch for wrongdoers. Most officers work hard to keep their communities safe, and that’s why they chose the job. Try your best to respect them and show them that you’re on the same side.
If arrested, then ask for a lawyer and keep quiet. Before it gets to that point, you can do a few things that could stop an arrest before it happens to you.
Know Your Rights
Remember your right to remain silent. If you want to exercise that right, then in a clear manner, let the officer know so, and stating your name in the process will help your case even more. If you’re not getting arrested, then you have the right to leave in a calm manner.
What You Can Say When Stopped By Law Enforcement
If stopped, there are phrases and questions that you can ask to understand the situation more and have the officer clearly state why they have stopped you. Some questions you should ask if stopped:
- “Am I under arrest?”
- “Am I free to go?”
- “Am I a suspect in a crime?”
These are all passive responses that should not anger or irritate the officer. Any of these are respectful and involve you seeking information. Also, do not lie to the law enforcement officer. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to them, then say, “I want to remain silent.” This counts as you using your constitutional rights to remain silent until a lawyer has come to aid.
What To Say When Asked To Be Searched
If the officer has stated that they must search you, then know that you can say NO. Do not physically resist a pat-down or search. Simply state, “I do not consent to a search.”
If stopped in your car, show them your license, registration, and proof of insurance when asked. Keep hands on the wheel and let them know if you’re going to reach for anything.
If they do ask to search your vehicle, then simply state, “I do not consent to a search. Do not physically resist. This can lead to more problems. Also, if given a ticket, then sign it. If you refuse to sign the ticket, then you can get arrested for it.
How Huerta Law Can Help
Saying no may put you in an uncomfortable position. Without a proper warrant, officers can not search you, your home, or your vehicle. If arrested, let them clearly know that you want to speak to your lawyer no matter what stage. When you call us, we will jump to help you in these situations. Unfair treatment and blank explanations have no place in this world. We fight for what’s fair and right for you. Here at Huerta, we look to stop unfair stops and unfair justice. If this has happened to you or anyone you know, give us a call. Contact us for questions, consultations, or advice.