Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whenever you’re stopped and questioned by law enforcement, it’s vital that you’re aware of your rights, and it’s important to know when you should and when you shouldn’t speak with the police without a criminal lawyer present. Law enforcement may wish to question you for any number of reasons and it’s important to be aware of why they’re questioning you and what they’re questioning you for.
Talking to Law Enforcement Officers during a Traffic Stop
For example, let’s say you’re driving down the interstate, and law enforcement pulls you over. They tell you that you’ve been speeding and, are the officer is in the process of giving you a speeding ticket. As usual, they’ll ask for your license and registration.
Then, the officer comes back to the car and then asks you a question from out of nowhere: Do you have anything illegal in the vehicle? Guns, drugs, pills, etc.? You’re already nervous because you’ve been stopped by the police, but now they want to know more information about you. At this point, it’s more important than ever to not panic and to know your rights.
In order to search your car, law enforcement needs something called probable cause. Probable cause is a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts. Without it they can’t search your person, your vehicle, or anything else connected to you – that is, unless you give consent. Criminal defense lawyers see countless cases in which law enforcement has no reason to search further, but someone gives them consent. This consent to search often leads to major finds such as drugs, illegal firearms, and other things that can result in felony criminal charges. So step one, if you have illegal items in your car, never give law enforcement consent to search.
Do Not Consent to Search if you have Illegal Items on You
Law enforcement officers may tell you that they’re going to help you with your bond, or that they’ll help you out somehow or someway in the long run – but the reality is that law enforcement officers finding a misdemeanor or felony amount of some substance is not going to help you. Do not consent to a search. Make the police get a search warrant, because if they don’t have probable cause, they can’t perform a search.
Even if a judge or magistrate signs off on a search warrant, if the reason was invalid your lawyers may be able to do a suppression motion later to keep the evidence out of court. However, if you consent to a search, it doesn’t help your case at all.
Once the police find something illegal, they’re going to do their very best to get you to admit that it’s either yours or you had knowledge that the item was with you, whether in your car or on you person. They will say things like, “How long have you had this?” “Where did you get this from?” Or they might say certain phrases that will trick you into revealing knowledge about an item, such as “Is the gun loaded?”
Let a Criminal Defense Lawyer do the Talking for You
When it comes to law enforcement, the best advice is to simply not consent. If you’ve been stopped by the police, tell them you’d like to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, like our friends at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law. Not only will your attorney know how to handle conversations with law enforcement, bu they’llt also know how to protect your rights should something be found.