The average person is becoming a lot more aware, these days, of the risks that are posed by encounters with the police. It doesn’t benefit anyone to assume that the worst will happen. However, any of these encounters are likely to be fairly serious, so they should be taken seriously. Remembering your rights and the proper protocol of a situation can help you fare better in it.
One of the most frequent examples of encounters with police will happen when you’re pulled over on the side of the road. Many police are rightfully wary on such stops, so be courteous, if you have to be. Don’t be combative, as this is only more likely to get you a more aggressive response. Also pay attention as to whether or not they are following the right protocol in any engagement. The lawyers at Mace Law note many ways police might fail to comprehensive carry out their duty. From using faulty breathalyzers to having reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place.
Why you should remain silent
Even if you’ve never had trouble with the police, you will know that you have ‘the right to remain silent’. This is often told to someone as they’re being arrested. However, if you’re in an unwanted encounter with the police, it might be best to remain silent even before that. Legal experts admit that even innocent people should refrain from speaking at all. Apart from informing the police they are choosing to remain silent, that is. You never know what may serve as self-incriminating in the eyes of the law.
Saying no to searches
Many people will also know that the times may come up when the police want to carry out a search. Much like speaking to them, this is not something they have a right to do without your consent. There are several reasons you should never consent to a search, either. If you’re searched without consent, any evidence found in that search might be inadmissible. This happens if the officer can’t prove they had probable cause to search you. In many cases, it can even prevent you from getting searched.
Police misconduct might not be as widespread as many believe, but it is still a significant risk. In modern society, the police are afforded more authority and protection than the average citizen. That’s why, if you have the chance to report real misconduct, it’s advisable you do it. Without the checks of a real system to hold authority over them, those few bad cops can get away with all kinds of things. Write down the details of any encounter with police, even get an audio or video recording of them if you can. Make sure you consult with an attorney before filing the report as well.
Police may be charged to protect and serve, but their duty isn’t always clear cut. Even situations you are totally innocent in can be turned against you. We recommend following the advice above so you get in no more trouble than you need to.