7 Crucial Tips for Dealing with The Police


1. Remain Levelheaded: It's important to stay calm and collected as becoming panicked or appearing agitated can make things more challenging for you. Becoming overly nervous or fidgety can give officers even more reason to be more suspicious of your behavior.

2. Keep Your Hands in View: Along with remaining levelheaded, it is essential to always keep your hands in view when dealing with the police. For your safety, always keep your hands visible. If you are in your vehicle, keep your hands resting on the steering wheel.

3. Remember Your Rights: Express yourself as politely as possible. If you know you are doing nothing wrong, don’t agree to unlawful searches or questioning out of fear or a desire for transparency. Once you have agreed to a search request, it becomes difficult to challenge the officer's conduct after the fact.

4.  Know What You are Being Stopped For: You can politely ask officers why they have stopped you. You can also ask the officer if you’re being detained or free to go. Police officers are legally required to answer whether you are being detained.

5. Refuse Most Searches: Officers need to have significant cause to search you, your home, or your vehicle. You can and should demand a warrant for any searches. However, note that an officer can perform a “pat down” if they fear you have weapons. Do not physically resist an officer, but calmly state that you do not give consent to further search without a warrant.

6. Keep Silent, Do Not Lie: You have the right to remain silent until you have a lawyer present. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud. In some states, you may be required to identify yourself by name to a police officer, but after that, remain silent. This also applies to passengers in the vehicle with you.

7. Ask for a Lawyer: State aloud that you wish to remain silent and ask for legal representation immediately. You are not required to give any explanations or excuses. It is your right to have legal representation, so if you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one. Never say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without a lawyer present. If you are arrested, you have the right to a phone call. If that call is to a lawyer, the officers can't listen to the conversation.


Report Misconduct Later and Do Not Argue

Don't physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint. If you feel that your rights have been violated, be as neutral and cooperative as possible. Write down everything you remember, including officers' badges and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and the contact information of witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries (but seek medical attention first). Then, contact a civil rights attorney like Hupy and Abraham.

If you have any questions about your rights or feel that your rights have been violated by the misconduct of police officers, please contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678

Jill Erin Wellskopf
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Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham