Interactions with law enforcement can be intimidating and stressful. It’s essential to know your rights and how to protect yourself in these situations. Here are three crucial tips from the Law Office of David Reed that everyone should know when dealing with the police.
Do Not Consent to a Search
If the police ask to search your house or vehicle, it usually means they don’t have the legal right to do so without your consent. If you agree to the search, anything found during the search can be used against you in court.
Do not resist if the police begin to search, but make it clear that you do not consent to any search. Even if the police don’t respect your rights, this gives your attorney a chance to fight for your constitutional rights and argue that the search and resulting arrest were illegal. If you consent, your constitutional right is waived, and there’s little that can be done.
Do Not Volunteer Information or Make a Statement to the Police
Rarely has anyone benefited from volunteering information to the police. Any information you provide will be recorded and used against you in the prosecution of the charge. If you believe you are a suspect in a crime, it’s wise not to answer questions and instead ask if you are free to leave.
If the police say no, this is your cue to stop talking and request your constitutional right to an attorney. Do not be sweet-talked into speaking. While many police officers are honest, others have been known to lie. Even if they make promises, it’s still advisable to stay silent until your attorney is present.
Do Not Agree to a Breath or Blood Test
If you’re asked to take a breath test, the police have already decided to arrest you, regardless of the result of the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). Unless you’re positive you won’t blow at or over a .08 BAC, you’ll only hurt your case, and the Breathalyzer results will be used against you in the prosecution. Personally, even if you’ve had only one drink before driving, it’s best to exercise your constitutional right to refuse a blood or breath sample.
By following these three tips, you can better protect your rights during encounters with law enforcement. If you find yourself facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of David Reed for dedicated legal representation in Austin, Texas, and surrounding areas.