The Police Officer Said He Will Go Easy On Me If I Cooperate. Is That True?
Not necessarily; and not usually. This is another deceptive technique used by law enforcement to get you to do what they want while giving up your rights. If you find yourself in this situation, you should immediately exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Often times, it is not within the officer’s authority to “go easy on you,” as that is the authority of the prosecutor who will be assigned to your case.
The Police Are At My Home. What Should I Do?
This can be a very stressful situation for most people, especially if they don’t know their rights or think they know their rights but are mistaken. Basically, if police come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have a search warrant or an arrest warrant for a person they have reason to believe is inside. If they do not have a warrant, you can verbally refuse to let them enter or just not answer the door. If the police do enter without your consent, remember to remain calm and do not run or attempt to physically block their entrance. If the police search your house illegally, just remember that any items found can be suppressed at a later time in court by your attorney. If you do allow the police to enter and search, then the search becomes legal even if the police did not otherwise have a lawful basis to do the search.
If the police have a warrant to search or make an arrest, ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant and perform a search. However, officers can only search the areas of the home listed in the warrant and in locations where the items listed in the warrant could be found. For example, if the search warrant allows the police to search for a handgun, the police are not permitted to search your computer files or to open a pill bottle that is too small to store a gun. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home if they believe the person is inside.
Regardless of whether the officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent and should do so. Please do not speak to the police until you have your lawyer present.
If you believe that you or a loved one are under investigation for a crime or may come under investigation, please call Sahn Law Firm for a free consultation to see how we can help.
I Was Asked To Come Down To The Police Station Regarding An Incident. What Should I Do?
The best thing for you to do at this point is to call an experienced, skilled criminal defense lawyer. They will usually be able to find out a lot more about what is actually going on and then advise you accordingly. You may think you are helping yourself by just complying and going to the station cold, but this can often lead to you being caught off-guard, saying something you did not mean, or worse, confessing to a crime.
When Do I Have To Show ID When Encountering Police?
In the United States (and in South Carolina), there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind. The only time you would be required to carry an ID is if you are driving a vehicle or a passenger on a commercial airline. In these situations, you would have to show ID when asked by police or else risk arrest.
I Was Stopped By Police. Can Police Order Me Out Of A Car?
Yes, during a legitimate traffic stop, police may order the driver and any passengers out of the vehicle. This rule is intended to protect officers’ safety, but it’s often used for investigatory purposes.
Police who order you out of the vehicle probably suspect you of criminal activity, so be prepared for a pat down and maybe a search request. Remember, you do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle. If you do consent, then the search will be considered legal
I Was The Passenger In A Vehicle Stopped By Police. What Are My Rights During A Stop?
Generally, passengers have identical rights as the driver during a traffic stop. This includes:
- The right to be free from unreasonable or illegal searches by law enforcement.
- The right to remain silent and not answer questions by the police.
- The right to challenge the legality of the stop in court.
- The right to challenge the legality of any search after the stop in court.
Drivers are usually considered to have knowledge or responsibility for what is in the vehicle they are operating. It is important to note that any driver can possibly be held responsible for illegal substances or contraband of any kind that is found by police.
However, passengers are not typically held to the same standard as are drivers. Passengers are not expected to have the knowledge or responsibility of the aforementioned items unless they are in fact the actual owner of the vehicle, or are within an easy arm’s reach of the item, or if there is some other possible reason or sign that the item is actually theirs. Depending on the type of stop and subsequent investigation, the passenger may have additional rights. Please call Sahn Law Firm if you have been charged with a crime while being the driver or passenger in a vehicle.
For more information on Cooperation with Police in South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.