Interacting With Law Enforcement: 3 Major Mistake To Avoid
Speaking with a police officer can be tense if the person is unaccustomed to police interviews or interrogations. A mistake during a police interview or interrogation could lead to significant prison time. However, residents in Denver, like the rest of the United States, have Constitutional rights against certain police conduct. Here are three mistakes that people often make when they interact with a police officer:
Consenting to a Search Without a Warrant
Police officers cannot search your person, home, or vehicle unless the officer has a warrant, there are circumstances that justify the search, or the suspect consents to the search. If a prosecutor cannot prove one of these factors were present during a police search, then the search would be considered unreasonable. Americans have the right to be deny consent to a search. An officer may still attempt to search a property even if consent is denied. If that occurs, do not attempt to physically stop such a search, but make it clear that the search is against your wishes.
Acting Suspiciously During a Traffic Stop
Most traffic stops result in a little more than a warning or a minor infraction. Officers typically cannot search a vehicle and find evidence of a more significant crime if the driver doesn’t act suspiciously and give the officer a reason to suspect there may be something more afoot. If an officer pulls over a vehicle, the driver should pull over and turn the vehicle off. The driver should respond politely and provide information when requested. Yelling at the officer, attempting to evade the officer, and/or refusing to provide information will only lead to more police investigation.
Talking Without an Attorney Present
A suspect may find it helpful to know at a certain point to know if he or she can leave. If the officer says yes in response to questions like “Am I free to leave?” then the suspect is not being detained. However, if the answer is no, it may be wise for the suspect to ask for an attorney.
Americans have the right to an attorney during a police interrogation. An attorney is often critical in determining whether a question is fair and can make the appropriate objection. If an attorney is not present, the suspect has the constitutional right to remain silent. It is important to say as little as possible. If a suspect answers questions and then suddenly stops talking, a prosecutor may still be able to use that sudden silence against the suspect.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Criminal Law Issue in Denver?
A local Denver criminal defense attorney can make sure you know all your rights, that they are being protected, and will know the best strategies to help you get the best outcome possible in your case. Remember, with criminal charges, access to a criminal defense attorney is your right.