1. Say ‚ CAN I LEAVE?‚ If the officer says yes, then GO.
An officer can walk up to you and begin talking just like any other stranger. You should not speak to the officer and instead say, ‚ CAN I LEAVE?‚ The officer should say, ‚ Yes, you can leave‚ unless he has ‚ reasonable suspicion‚ to believe that you participated in a crime. If the officer says, ‚ NO, you may not leave‚ then the officer must convince a judge that he had ‚ reasonable suspicion‚ to detain you before presenting any evidence against you. If the officer says you can go, you should leave immediately.
2. DO NOT talk to the officer.
Everything you say WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU in court. Police officers are taught how to lie so you will think you should speak to them. They will tell you that a witness identified you as the perpetrator when no one has. Or, they will tell you that they have you on videotape when they don't. Then, the officer will give you a chance to explain what happened and you will mistakenly think you need to defend yourself against this false evidence. When you speak, you may admit something that helps the court convict you. Or, the officer may misinterpret what you said as a confession and use it against you in court. NEVER SPEAK TO A POLICE OFFICER.You may give him your name, address, telephone number and date of birth only.
3. Say ‚ I WANT TO SPEAK TO A LAWYER‚ to stop the officer from questioning you.
You must ask to SPEAK TO A LAWYER to inform the officer that you are asserting your constitutional right to remain silent. Then, keep asking to SPEAK TO A LAWYER. An officer is not legally allowed to question you after you ask to SPEAK TO A LAWYER. If you start up a conversation with the officer, he may respond and will use your statements against you in court. An officer will leave you with another person in the back of a patrol car or holding cell, secretly record your conversation, and then use your statements against you in court. YOU MUST REMAIN SILENT.
4. DO NOT consent when the officer asks you for permission to search your property.
Every time an officer stops a car, he thinks about asking the driver for permission to search. If you say yes, the officer does not need any legal justification to search because you gave him permission. You can't be certain what is in your car. Maybe a passenger dropped some drugs under your seat weeks ago. If the officer finds those drugs, he will suspect you possessed them and arrest you. If you say, "no‚ and refuse consent to search, then the officer must convince a judge that he had probable cause to suspect the presence of contraband. If the officer did not have probable cause, then the judge should declare the search unconstitutional and exclude the seized evidence from court. Without this evidence, most possession charges get dismissed. To encourage you to consent to their search request, an officer may threaten to handcuff you or make you wait for a drug dog to arrive. These are just scare tactics so don't be persuaded to consent. NEVER GIVE ANYONE PERMISSION TO SEARCH YOUR PROPERTY.
5. Hire an Attorney who SPECIALIZES in criminal defense.
A criminal conviction will have a serious impact on your life. A felony conviction means you may never possess a firearm for the rest of your life and you may be ineligible for some types of employment. Even a misdemeanor conviction will affect you ability to find work. When you are facing such serious consequences, you need an attorney who specializes in preparing criminal cases for trial.
Get help from your Raleigh criminal defense attorney today! Please contact Raleigh NC Attorney McCoppin with any questions at:firstname.lastname@example.org