A common mistake caused by criminal defendants is contacting police, the FBI, or other government agencies before retaining an attorney. The police should never be contacted about your case before you have retained a Criminal Defense Lawyer to defend you.
A person must always cooperate with law enforcement when arrested and searched. To avoid getting wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit, make them perform their job. Say “no, not without a warrant” if the cops ask to search your home or automobile. To search you without a warrant, the police can often do so. This means they will search your home regardless of whether or not you agree. This assumes they have a good faith opinion that you have committed a criminal offense.
At all times, allow them to search you. Avoid volunteering for anything that the cops haven’t asked you to do. Any evidence the police uncover as a result of this search may be admissible without your objection because you submitted it to them of your own accord without their authorization. Accordingly, there was no search, and you cannot object to the evidence based on your constitutional rights as a result.
Know your rights under the Constitution. Under the Fourth Amendment, before stopping and questioning you, a police officer must have “reasonable suspicion”. When confronting a suspect they can ask them for identification or open a luggage or trunk but they cannot force you to do anything without a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is taking place first. An arrest requires a little more than just a reasonable suspicion for the police. The police must have “probable cause” to think that you are committing, or have committed, a crime before they can make an arrest.
The police have the legal right not to answer questions or ask you to perform a task. You can walk away or deny the request if the police ask you. However, if you are told to do something, you must comply. Being ordered by law enforcement is a crucial component of your constitutional rights. No matter if they are asking for something or giving you an order, you must comply. Attempting to walk away from or disobeying a police officer puts you in danger. A person’s rights are protected by following orders if they appear to be giving them.
Always let the police decide if they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause before you act on your suspicions or charges. Resist them in no manner and don’t engage them in an argument. Consider asking them to do something in a nice, casual, non-threatening tone. If it is unclear if they are demanding you or simply asking during a conversation, ask them whether they are commanding or simply asking for anything. As soon as you receive a command, you must comply with it instantly.
If it’s only a request, you have the option of denying it. Your rights will be protected. The police may still pull you over and search your stuff if he or she so chooses. A police officer, however, will have to defend his actions in court if he invokes your Fourth Amendment rights in the future. Anyone who violates your rights is going to be barred from testifying in court.
Keep in mind to always use good judgment when making decisions. Refrain from resisting arrest. Making a scene is risky, and will only damage your case.