In situations where you’re suspected of having committed a crime, you are obligated to cooperate with the police because failure to do so may lead to your arrest. But consensual encounters, where a police officer stops and talks to you when there’s no evidence of any wrongdoing, can sometimes lead to arrest as well. Here’s how you can avoid this happening to you.
First of all, it’s important to know and assert your rights. Pursuant to the 5th Amendment, you don’t have to answer any questions or give information that could be used against you. Furthermore, the Fourth Amendment clearly states that police can’t search your person or property without legal cause.
The next step in getting out of an unwanted encounter with the police is to ask them the reason for the conversation. If they don’t offer a valid reason, it is within your rights to refuse to continue speaking with them. Ideally, the officer will leave it at that; but if they persist, the next step is to let them know you’re going to leave, and then do it. It’s best to do this at a walk and not a run, because running in these situations has sometimes been interpreted by the court system as being reasonable grounds for the police to detain and search you.
Interacting with the police in this way goes against most of what we’re told we should do and therefore takes a good deal of confidence. However, you are perfectly within your rights to choose not to converse with a police officer and should never feel forced to do so.
If you’ve been the victim of arrest after a consensual encounter, contact the criminal lawyer in Las Vegas with over 20 years of experience: Gabriel Grasso. (702) 868-8866