Search of vehicle by police

Know Your Rights with Law Enforcement.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Print. We rely on the police to keep us safe and treat us all fairly, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. Here are some tips for interacting with police and understanding your rights. This information is not intended as legal advice. If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.

You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Do not interfere with or obstruct the police. Do not lie or give false documents. Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested. Do remember the details of the encounter.

Search warrant

You have the right to make a local phone call. The police listen if you call a lawyer. Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested. Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.

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Special considerations for non-citizens: Ask your lawyer about the effect of a criminal conviction or plea on your immigration status. While you are in jail, an immigration agent may visit you. Do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer. Read all the papers fully. If you do not understand or cannot read the papers, tell the officer you need an interpreter.

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Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer. Some of the most common examples of observations made by police which constitute probable cause include visible contraband in the vehicle , the smell of contraband coming from inside the vehicle, or some sort of admission of guilt from the driver or a passenger inside the car. Traffic violations on their own are not enough to constitute probable cause. Staying calm and being aware of your answers can mean all the difference. Police routinely ask incriminating questions to try to get drivers to fess up right off the bat.

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Remember: Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. If police order you out of the vehicle, you legally must comply. This, again is an attempt to secure consent from you. If police do search your car and find something illegal despite your refusal to let them search, an experienced Beloit criminal defense attorney can file a motion to throw out suppress the evidence in court.

This request is your best protection in these circumstances. Contact the Fitzgerald Law Firm today for a free consultation. Photo credit: Anthony Citrano.

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Skip to content. So, how do you stop police from searching your car in the first place? If you are flagged by an officer here are the best steps to take to appear calm and cool: If safe, pull over immediately. Turn your vehicle off completely.