Certainly no one ever wants to have an encounter with a police officer when his red and blue lights are flashing. These are pretty colors to be sure, just not when atop a police cruiser. But if ever in such a situation, you should be aware of your rights, and don’t be shy … exercise them.
First, you have the right to say “no” to any search request by law enforcement. Generally speaking, in the absence of a valid search warrant, you have the right to refuse the search of your property or vehicle. So … be polite, but decline an officer’s request to search your property and/or vehicle. Second, you have the right to remain silent; in other words, you don’t have to talk … and you shouldn’t. Any statements made by you to the police can – and will – be used against you. In fact, if you admit guilt or give other incriminating statements, it could harm your ability to defend against criminal charges. So … stop talking and ask for a lawyer; it is always best to not give a statement or answer police questions without an attorney present. That leads to our third point, you have the right to an attorney. Once you request an attorney, police are required to cease their interrogation. A Seattle criminal defense attorney will protect your rights and ensure you do not give statements that will bolster the government’s criminal case against you. Finally, unless you are under arrest and/or detained, you are free to leave. In light of this, you can – and should – terminate any police encounter that has not yet arisen to the level of a detention and/or arrest. Like we said above, don’t be shy … regardless of the feeling that you cannot ‘walk away’ … do just that, ‘walk away’ if you are not under arrest/ detained.
Whenever cited for a crime it is imperative to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.