Dealing with police officers can be very intimidating and could result in a violation of your most basic rights. It is important to fully understand and know your rights, as well as basic police procedures in order to stand up for yourself within those rights.
Under the Fourth and Fifth Amendment, you have the following rights:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to refuse to content to a search
- The right to ask if you're free to leave, so long as you aren't under arrest
However, knowing when and how to exercise these rights can be difficult. If you have been arrested and think your rights have been violated, talk with me, a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer right away.
When I am pulled over by police, what should I do?
The most important factor when you are pulled over is to stay calm and know your rights. When a police officer comes up to your car, always remain respectful, while keeping your hands on the wheel or visible to the police officer.
When asked, hand the police officer your license, registration, and proof of insurance. You have the right to politely state your desire to invoke your right to silence. If a police officer ask to search your vehicle, you can refuse to consent to a search, unless they have obtained probable cause.
Is my silence seen as an admission of guilt?
So long as you verbally express your desire to invoke your right to remain silent, police officers need to honor that and it will not be used against you as an admission of guilty in court. Police officials may ask you questions or to search your home or vehicle. Without your consent, a warrant, or probable cause, they are not legally allowed to conduct a search.
However, if an officer has reasonable suspicion, they can detain you for a certain amount of time, and search your person to gain any legal evidence. Probable cause, on the other hand, means that police have hard evidence or articulable facts to accuse you of commitment a crime.
If you would like to receive more information regarding your rights, contact The Law Officesof Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. to speak with a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney criminal lawyer.