You are driving when suddenly you see blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror. It's every driver's worst nightmare. For most of us, this induces instant panic. Regardless of if you did nothing wrong, your heart may race and your blood pressure rise. However, in the event you are being pulled over by police in the state of Florida, it's best to remain calm as soon as you see the police lights. If an officer is already pulling you over, panicking can only make things worse. Staying calm and keeping yourself composed will benefit both you and the officer in the long run. If you ever find yourself in a position where you may have been cited, or even arrested, it's best to contact an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney immediately so your rights can be protected. These are the top 5 things you should never do if you are arrested.
1. Don't Run
If you see flashing lights behind you or an officer has asked you to step out of your vehicle, do not run away! In Florida, resisting an officer without any form of violence is still obstruction of law enforcement which can lead to arrest. Resisting arrest without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida with penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 12 months of probation, and a minimum of a $1,000 fine.
2. Don't Talk
It is your 5th amendment right to remain silent and you should exercise that depending on the situation. You might think "won't I look guilty if I don't talk to the police?" The answer is no. You should never talk to the police without first consulting an attorney. Police officers are trained to obtain confessions and admissions as evidence of guilt. Things you say may make you appear guilty which can then be exploited by law enforcement. As said in the Miranda warning, "you have the right to remain silent," and you should do so.
3 Don't Consent to a Search
You should never consent to a search if you are not required to do so. Your vehicle on a public road has fewer rights than yourself as an individual or your home on private property. While you may have fewer rights when you are in a car, you are still protected against unreasonable searches. By law, warrantless searches are only allowed when:
- An inventory search must be conducted
- A search incident to arrest which allows a search of the immediate vicinity of a driver (anywhere driver can reach in a vehicle) if the driver is considered to be under arrest
- A probable cause search due to the belief that there may be a weapon or other contraband that may have been used in a crime
4. Don't Let The Police in Your House
Never let the police in your house for a consensual encounter. Anything an officer sees in plain view from your doorway may be grounds for an officer to enter your home and arrest you. In Florida, if an officer asks if they can come inside, politely say no. If an officer entered your home without a warrant, the search may have been illegal and you should contact a criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky immediately.
5. Don't Believe the Police
If a police officer is pulling you over and they claim to be doing so to help you, do not believe them. In all likelihood, the police will only pull you over when they believe you are a suspect in a crime. In this case, the police do not want to help you, they want to help themselves. While you should never argue with an officer, you should always be wary of what they claim.
If you're being charged with a crime and need expert advice or representation, contact us immediately at (561) 671-5995 or by clicking here and our experienced criminal defense attorney will provide the help you need. You can also download our free guide 'Top 5 Things Most Criminal Defense Attorneys Don’t Want You to Know'.