A police encounter can be intimidating — but you do have rights. Following these basic rules can help protect you when dealing with a law enforcement officer.
If you’re stopped by the police, do not talk to them. If you are arrested, say, “I choose to remain silent and I want to talk to my attorney.”
Do not consent to a search of your person or your property. If the police search you, tell them, “I do not consent to a search.”
Document all police conduct and misconduct.
If the police stop you…
• Stay calm. Do not physically resist.
• Keep your hands visible and free of all objects, especially those that can be confused for a weapon.
• Remain silent. You do not have to talk with the police.
• Ask “Am I free to go?” If the answer is “yes,” leave immediately.
• If you are detained, show your ID. If you don’t, you can be held for up to three days in order to identify you.
If the police want to search you…
• Never consent to a search!
• Say “I do not consent to a search” loudly enough so others can hear you
• Don’t resist physically — police can patch you down if they have reasonable suspicion of weapons or drugs
• Don’t open your bag or any closed items for the police
If the police try to enter your home…
• Never consent to a search
• If you have opened the door, step outside and lock the door behind you
• Ask to see a search warrant. Does it have your address on it, and is it signed by a judge?
• If police have a search warrant, do not agree to let them search areas not covered by the warrant
If the police stop your car…
• Stay calm
• Do not answer any questions — silence is not a crime
• Do show your driver’s licenses, registration and proof of insurance
• Do tell the officer that you do not consent to a search of your car, if asked
• Don’t open your trunk or car door to allow the police access — otherwise they may argue you consented to a search
• Do sign any ticket they give you
• If you refuse a blood, urine or breath test when asked, your license can be suspended
If the police arrest you…
• Do not answer any questions
• Do say, “I choose to remain silent and I want to talk to my attorney.”
• Do not talk about your case to anyone except your attorney
If you are mistreated by the police…
• Immediately write down the details of the incident, including badge numbers and names of witnesses
• Get a medical report immediately, as well as photographs documenting any injuries or property damage
If you’ve been approached, questioned, interrogated or arrested by a police officer, contact criminal defense attorney Mark Reichel right now for a free consultation.
The information contained in this web site is general in nature and should not be construed to be formal legal advice. It is provided for informational, illustrative and advertisement purposes only. It is not legal advice. It should not be relied upon in making legal decisions or in place of a consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney regarding a specific matter. Reading this site, sending us information, or receipt of information from us does not establish an attorney – client relationship. Our review of, and/or response to, your query does not mean that we are representing you or that we are your lawyers.
Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact the Law Office of Mark Reichel for legal advice specific to your situation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for representation in criminal proceedings outside of the State of California, except for those matters prosecuted in U.S. Federal Courts. Mark Reichel is a licensed California attorney; a written, signed retainer agreement is a prerequisite for the Mark Reichel or any other attorney at the Law Office of Mark Reichel to represent you.
Statements, testimonials and endorsements contained herein do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the ultimate result or outcome of your legal matter. Links from this web site to the web site of another entity does not state or imply the existence of a relationship between the Law Office of Mark Reichel and that entity.