Police officers deal with the people that society does not to want to deal with. Because police officers are professional and they are held to a higher standard when dealing with the public but they are only human. Anyone would be on edge after dealing with difficult people for a full shift. When dealing with the police it is important to let them know we mean them no harm by remaining calm and portraying calmness. Police officers like anyone else will give you back what you give them. The difference is that they will not lose. They are armed and they have the full force of their police department to back them up. Nervous cops are dangerous cops. A local police officer and criminal defense attorney M. Edelstein suggests the following tips for dealing with the police:
Always do the following when dealing with the police:
Be respectful even if they are not. Mr. Edelstein suggests that It’s not a bad idea to address the officer as “sir”, “officer”, or “Officer (last name)”. Ask yourself if you would rather be right or be arrested.
Keep your hands in view. Don’t make sudden movements.
Avoid passing behind them.
Never touch them. He is not your friend and there is no reason to touch them.
Never Raise your voice or challenge the officer (even if he is confrontational and raises his voice).
Never ignore the officer’s directions. Ignoring the officer could make them believe you are hiding something and may put the officer on edge.
Never demand anything from the police officer. It’s great that you pay taxes, everybody does.
Never ask the officer for his badge number. Memorize it instead.
Never tell the officer that you are going to report him. You might as well say: “take me straight to jail.”
When you are pulled over by a police officer:
Turn off the car. This lets them know you have no intentions of running.
Roll down all the windows (weather permitting). Officers who can easily see inside the car are more at ease.
Turn off the music. This is just plain manners. No one likes speaking over loud music.
Put your hands on the steering wheel. Doing so shows the officer that you have no weapons in your hands. If you have a concealed weapon, let them know where the weapon is located and follow any instructions the officer gives you for handling the weapon.
When they ask you for your driver license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration, tell the officer where the documents are located and ask them if you can reach for them. Don’t make sudden or jerky movements.
If you receive a ticket, don’t argue with them about whether or not you committed the infraction. Don’t hold court on the side of the road. Save that for actual court.
Remember that the officer can only suggest charges. Only the Court makes them stick. The ACLU suggests that you should know your rights.
You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
f you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
Do stay calm and be polite.
Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
Do not lie or give false documents.
Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
Do remember the details of the encounter.
Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated.
We all will have to deal with the police at some point. Following these simple tips will increase your odds of having a more positive experience with them because the alternative can be bad – very bad.
Interview of City of Miami Police Officers.
Blog by Miami Criminal Lawyer David Edelstein
Call Miami PSPI, LLC for all your process service and private investigative needs.