Considering the current state of affairs in our country regarding police and public relations, Holmes Bail Bonding wanted to offer some tips on ways to conduct yourself when encountering the police.
What would you do if you were confronted by the police? Do you know what your rights are? How should you behave in order to best protect yourself?
The police are charged with enforcing laws and maintaining public safety; but as a citizen it is up to you to understand your rights and responsibilities should you ever find yourself in a police situation.
Ways to Avoid Conflict with the Police
The MOST important thing to remember is to stay calm!
No matter how mad or wrongly accused you may feel, you MUST keep your emotions under control. Anger or defiance are the fastest ways to escalate any police situation and set yourself up for potentially serious trouble.
You hear it all the time in the movies: “You have the right to remain silent!”
Whether you are being questioned, detained, arrested or anything in between, you are not required to answer any questions the police may ask you. Clearly and firmly state “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”
And then be (and stay) silent.
Do not give explanations or excuses or arguments. The less you say to the police, the better off you will be. Remember, what you say can and WILL be used against you in court.
Note: in North Carolina you have no legal obligation to give your name when asked by the police UNLESS you are driving a vehicle. Then you must produce your license and registration if asked.
Ask the Right Questions
If you do choose to speak, make sure you are only asking the right questions (again, remember to speak calmly and respectfully).
- You are allowed to ask for an officer’s official identification.
- If an officer says they have a warrant, you are allowed to ask to see it.
- You are allowed to ask if you are being detained, or if you are free to go.
If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer IMMEDIATELY.
Do not answer ANY questions or provide ANY information beyond your name and address. Exercise your right to remain silent and speak ONLY to and through a lawyer, no matter how much the police might question you. And of course, stay calm!
Police Encounter Quick Tips
What not to do
- Do not argue with or insult the officer
- Do not run
- Do not touch the officer
- Do not interfere with or obstruct the police
- Do not resist (even if you believe you are innocent)
- Do not lie or talk about the incident
- Do not say or sign anything, or make any decisions without a lawyer
What to do
- Remain calm and be polite
- Ask to see the officer’s official identification if not clearly visible
- Exercise your right to remain silent
- It is your right to refuse requests to search yourself, your car, or your home
- Keep your hands where the police can see them; limit your movements
- Try to remember the officer’s name and badge number, if possible
- Pay attention to the details of the encounter (time, location, etc.)
Remember, if you are arrested the only thing you should say is “I exercise my right to remain silent. I wish to speak to a lawyer.”
Bail Bonds Services in Raleigh
Should you find yourself or a loved one facing criminal charges, Holmes Bail Bonding is here to help. Most people only have the smallest notion of what to do if an individual is arrested, let alone what happens once a bond is set and made mandatory for the release of a loved one.