For most people, talking to the police is an intimidating experience, so you might be nervous and tempted to comply with any request the officer makes. Unfortunately, this impulse can lead you to surrender valuable rights you didn’t even know you had, inadvertently assisting police and prosecutors in building a case against you. Below are some of the rights criminal law affords to everyone when interacting with police officers.
3 Rights to Know When Talking to Officers
1. The Right to Remain Silent
If you’re pulled over while driving, you’re required to show the driver your license, registration, and insurance information. However, you aren’t required to answer any other questions, whether the officer stops your car, approaches you in the street, or comes to your home. You can’t be penalized or arrested for failing to answer questions without evidence of a crime, and there’s usually no benefit in talking to the police.
2. The Right to Refuse a Search
Unless they see evidence of a crime in plain sight or have reason to believe you’ve committed a crime, police need your permission to search your vehicle or your home. If they don’t have a warrant, it’s always in your best interests to refuse a search.
3. The Right to Record an Encounter
Recording an encounter can provide helpful evidence for you and your criminal law attorney. Because they’re public officials, police officers on duty don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so it’s legal to record any conversation or search. Keep in mind that there are several exceptions in certain circumstances where recording is not allowed, such as sitting down in a formal interview.
If you’re detained, you have the right to seek an attorney to represent you. With years of criminal law experience and a commitment to their clients, lawyers at the Ozman Law Offices offer aggressive representation to defendants throughout Orange County, NY. No matter what charges you’re facing, you can depend on their team to protect your rights and achieve the best possible results for your case. Visit their website for more on their criminal law services or call (845) 778-7777 to schedule your initial consultation.