Police Encounters by Kansas Lawyer, Vincent Rivera
If you have a police encounter it’s important to remember three things.
(1) First when you ask for an attorney all questioning must stop now.
if you choose to ask for an attorney it’s important that once you do that you stop talking because if you ask for an attorney and then you keep talking it basically erases that request for an attorney.
(2) Remember, you have the right to refuse a search.
You don’t have to agree to a search of your home.
You don’t have to agree to a search of your car.
You don’t have to agree to a search of your person
(3) Another thing to remember in a police encounter if you’re nervous. If you don’t like where it’s going just ask the officer “am I free to leave now?”
If you’re not free to leave they will tell you.
But if they tell you anything besides yes or no you need to repeat the question “am I free to leave?”
The significance of saying no to a search or asking whether or not you’re free to leave is because you are protected under the law.
The law and the Constitution say that you cannot be detained unless there’s evidence that you committed a crime.
They cannot keep you there unless they believe you committed a crime.
They cannot search you unless there is evidence that you committed a crime.
If you ask them if you’re free to leave and they say no, now they’re going to have to prove to a judge that they had some kind of facts, some kind of reasonable suspicion to keep you detained.
if you say no to a search now they’re going to have to explain to a judge why they searched you anyway.
So why do they ask for your permission?
Because when you consent you were giving up your rights. When you consent now they don’t need evidence. They no longer have to prove that the officer had reasonable suspicion.
If the officer tells you that you’re free to leave and you stay and talk to them.
And you stay and consent to a search the officer no longer has to prove to the judge that they had reasonable suspicion to keep you detained.