What if the Police Stop Me?

Wherever you see today’s headlines, on tv, a newspaper or online, you can’t help wonder: “what can the police do if I am stopped and what are my rights? Whether you’re a student on a college campus, or just walking down a street in a strange neighborhood, it’s good to know your rights!

What can the police do if they’re not sure you committed a crime? Quite simply, the police can stop and question you, if they believe a crime is underway and you are involved.

Once you are stopped, just for questioning, you must remain. But, if you are not placed under arrest and the police ask you questions, you are not required to answer. You are required to offer up your name and an I.D. card. Unlike what you may imagine from tv crime dramas, no Miranda warnings are given unless you’re being arrested. If you’re not sure you’re being arrested, ASK!

The bottom line is that if you’re not under arrest, you do not have to go with an officer to the police station, nor do you have to answer questions. You can decline and walk away.
If you are arrested, then a search is permitted of you and the area nearby. And you may be taken away by the police or issued an appearance ticket.

Susan G. Parker, Esq.
sparker@reallifelegal.com


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