What should you do if you’re stopped by police?

Traffic stops are the most common type of interaction that individuals have with law enforcement. It’s a very dangerous experience for both the police officer and the person who is being detained when these types of events occur. The random encounters can quickly spiral out of control if an individual allows them to do so.

A person stopped by police has the right to remain silent. You don’t have to engage in active communication with a police officer simply because they pulled you over. All that you’re obligated to do is to provide them with a state-issued identification (ID) card to identify yourself.

You don’t have to agree to have yourself or your vehicle searched. If you refuse to consent to a search, then any potential contraband they find may be deemed as inadmissible in court. This is especially the case if the police didn’t have probable cause to perform the search in the first place.

You have a right to be assigned a court-appointed attorney to represent you in your case if you’ve been arrested and cannot afford legal representation. You generally don’t have to show proof of citizenship or immigration status unless you’re at an international border crossing or airport.

One of the best things that you can do if you’re stopped by police is to always keep your hands in plain view. You shouldn’t even give police any false information or documentation or attempt to run to evade the police. You should immediately request a lawyer if you’re arrested.

You shouldn’t ever provide police with any statements or sign anything without the prior consent of your attorney. You must keep in mind that even if they do allow you to make a local phone call, the officers will be listening in on your conversation. They’re not allowed to eavesdrop if you’re speaking with a lawyer though. Anything that you say to anyone else on the phone can be used against you at a later date.

The police are sworn to protect and uphold the law, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. There may be legal remedies available to you if your rights have been violated by law enforcement. An attorney can evaluate the evidence in your Miami case and let you know what may be an ideal defense strategy for you to pursue here in a Florida court of law.

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