6 E. Main Street, Martinsville, VA 24114

Interacting with the Police

Police interactions can occur in a number of contexts – and they can often be terrifying. It seems like police brutality and overuse of force happen on a regular basis these days, and even a routine traffic stop has the potential to result in tragedy. Even if it doesn’t, the things you say and do during a police encounter can have a significant impact on your legal rights and future. As a result, you should take steps to protect your rights and contact a Martinsville criminal defense attorney the moment you recognize that your encounter may lead to a more serious matter.

Police cruiser with lights on

Be Polite While Protecting Your Rights

The unfortunate reality is that the police have significant discretion in many areas, and being polite is a good way to ensure that your encounter will go as smoothly as possible. That said, the police often try to get around limitations on what they can and cannot do by engaging in verbal pressure and obtaining consent. For example, a police officer may ask whether they can search your car after pulling you over for running a stop sign. Be polite – but do not give consent for the police to search you, your vehicle, or your home, unless they have a warrant or your lawyer, is present.

When it Comes to Talking, Less is More

The police may ask you seemingly innocuous questions during an encounter. For example, if you are pulled over, they may ask you where you have been or whether you have had anything to drink. In many cases, the police are not asking these questions to obtain information; instead, they are asking you questions to see how you react and to observe your physical and mental condition.

In the event that you are arrested on suspicion of a crime, the police may try to get you to talk to them and tell you that if you just “come clean,” they will go easy on you. Do not fall for this trick – they are just trying to obtain more evidence to make their and the prosecutor’s jobs easier. Ultimately, when it comes to talking to the police, say as little as possible.

If You Are Arrested, ask for a Lawyer as Soon as You Can

After an arrest, the police often engage in high-pressure interrogation tactics in an attempt to get a confession or more evidence. Fortunately, there is a way out. Under Miranda, if you invoke your right to counsel – or more simply put, ask for a lawyer – the police must stop questioning you until you have your attorney present. For this reason, you should ask for a lawyer as soon as you can after you are arrested. 

Call Us Today to Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested or under investigation by the police, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At McPheeters Law, we know how to defend the rights of the accused and will do everything we can to ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer in Martinsville, call our office today or contact us online.