KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - How to deal with the Police

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - How to deal with the Police - KNOW YOUR...

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS How to Deal with the Police By Waring R. Fincke Attorney at Law After almost twenty years of defending citizens accused of crime, I offer what everyone needs to know in order to protect themselves when talking with the police. It is important to remember that the reason the police are dealing with you may end up being explained to a judge or jury in a courtroom. Police officers are trained to write down what people say and to repeat what they have heard later from their notes and reports. Most people do not write down what goes on between them and the police and they are at a disadvantage when it comes time to recall who said what several months or even years later. So how do you deal with the officer who comes up to you on the street and says "Hold on, I want to talk with you?" Your first response might be, "How can I help you?" or it might be "What do you want?" The first example sets a better tone with the officer and lets her know that you are willing to talk, at least at first. The second example is more hostile and will be taken as a challenge to the officer's authority. The first response might very well lead the officer to say, "We're investigating a burglary that just happened down the street and want to know if you saw anything." The second response may make the officer say, "Turn around and put your hands on the wall," followed by a pat down search where the officer searches your clothing for weapons which may be used to harm her or others. That will be followed by, "What's your name and lets see some identification?" How you respond will often determine what happens next. The basic rules after your first contact with an officer depend on what you might have done (which you know about) and what the officer thinks you have done (which you may not know about). If you get the sense that the officer wants to talk with you because he thinks you might be
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This note was uploaded on 07/03/2008 for the course LAW 1 taught by Professor Law during the Spring '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - How to deal with the Police - KNOW YOUR...

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