What to do if you are approached by Law Enforcement
Please visit Flex Your Rights
Saying out of Jail is very healthy.
- Know your rights and demand them.
- Once you give up a right you have none.
- Do not consent to a search, even if you have nothing to hide, if they find something you didn’t know about your busted.
- Do not let them intimidate you.
- Do not speak unless spoken too; you do not have to say anything; the less you say the better. >You do not have to tell them your business even if they ask; do not make something up if you don’t want to tell them the truth; just do not answer the question.
- Remember you have the right to be silent.
- If a COP comes to the door; step outside to talk to them and close the door behind you, if you have the key; lock the door; if at home or in a car.
- Never let a COP into your house or car.
- Always have you car registration and insurance card where you can get to it easy.
- If driving someone else`s car know where the registration and insurance card is.
- Never hand a COP your Wallet or purse even if they ask for it, they need a search warrant to do that.
- If they ask more than once question at a time they may be trying to trip you up; be careful how you answer or if you even want to answer, you can stay silent.
- If they ask you how many drinks you have had or if you have taken any drugs, do not answer the question; remember you have the right to remain silent when you want to.
- If pulled over for speeding and asked do you know why I pulled you over; do not admit to speeding.
- Do not argue over a speeding ticket; if they ask how fast you were going only admit to doing the speed limit, not one mile over it.
- If a cop tries to pat you down; let him, but tell him you do not consent to any kind of a search.
- Stay calm; do not raise your voice or touch the cop, do not argue with them for any reason.
- If on the street in most states you do not have to show ID, if you are requested ask why and if this state has a law requiring you to show ID for no provocation and if you are under arrest for any crime
- If they threaten you that they will make life hard on you if you do not cooperate with them, tell them at this point you have nothing more to say to them and wish to have an attorney assigned to you, since you can not afford one.
- Remember the COP is not there to be your friend; they are there to arrest you and if you allow them to search you or you admit to doing something wrong, even speeding 1 mile over the speed limit; you are busted; if they find something you did not know about you are busted, even if they planted it.
- If they say I can get a search warrant; let them.
- Remember the only tool they have is intimidation; do not let them use it.
- If they tell you that they have probable cause to do something; tell them to stop there and you want an attorney present from this point on; its your right. Most of the time this will call their bluff and it will stop right there; but remember never touch them or raise your voice at them; do not get upset; if force the issue and search you without your consent; you may have no choice but to let them; but if it goes to court it will probably get thrown out so do not worry; just do not say OK even will they are searching you, make it clear they are violating your rights.
- I always carry a chain in my car; if asked to get out of the car, I’ll inform the officer I need my chain; I’ll use it to walk a line if asked later. I do not have to explain why I need the chain or have a doctors note or medical reason to have or use one.
Talking to the Officer
Many people stopped by an officer make the mistake of saying the wrong thing to him or her and failing to say the right things, and a case can be won or lost depending on what you say — or don’t say — to the officer.
Don’t speak first. Especially don’t start off with a defensive or hostile “What’s the problem?” or similar words. Let the officer start talking. He or she will probably ask to see your license and vehicle registration. Many people make the mistake of insisting the officer tell them why they were stopped before they’ll comply. Don’t make that mistake. Reply “okay” or “sure,” then hand over the documents.
One of the first things traffic cops learn in the police academy is to decide, before leaving their vehicle, whether they’re going to give a ticket or just a warning. They may act as though they still haven’t made up their minds and are going to let you off only if you’ll cooperate. Don’t fall for this. The hesitating officer may be trying to appear open-minded in order to extract admissions out of you, to use them against you in court if necessary. The strategy is to try to get you to admit either that you committed a violation or that you were so careless, inattentive, or negligent that you don’t know whether you did or not.
The officer might start by asking you the sort of question whose lack of a definite answer would imply guilt, like, “Do you know why I stopped you?” Or, he or she might ask, “Do you know how fast you were going?” Your answers, if any, should be non-committal and brief, like a simple “No” to the first question or a very confident, “Yes, I do,” to the second. If the officer then tells you how fast he or she thinks you were going or what he or she thinks you did, don’t argue. Give a noncommittal answer, like, “I see,” or no answer at all. Silence is not an admission of guilt and cannot be used against you in court.