In 2015, there were several cases that put law enforcement policies and procedures in the spotlight. Knowing how to deal with the police and what rights you have is critical anytime you interact with law enforcement. Here’s a list of general rights you have when you speak to law enforcement.
Miranda Rights- This is one of the most misunderstood rights. Movies and TV shows have effectively butchered the public’s understanding of Miranda rights. Police are only required to read you your Miranda rights if they are taking you into custody. If you are simply being questioned, but are not in custody, police are not required to read you your rights. However, anything you tell police can still be used against you, so be careful.
Stop and Frisk- The state Florida has laws that allow police to stop you and ask for your ID if they believe you, “ have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a violation of the criminal laws of this state or the criminal ordinances of any municipality or county.”
Consent- Most of the time (there are exceptions) if police don’t suspect you of a crime, you are not obligated to answer questions or be searched, which means the police need your consent. If you do consent to questioning or searching you need to be aware of two things. First, you can retract your consent at anytime. Second, no matter what the cops tell you, nothing is ever off the record.
Silence- Being silent can never be used against you, so when in doubt be quiet. When you’re suspected of a crime it’s best to let your lawyer do the talking. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider Kenny & Parry have more than 50 years of combined experience talking to the police on their client’s behalf. Don’t incriminate yourself by saying something you shouldn’t, call the Clearwater criminal defense team at Bauer, Crider & Parry.