You’re walking down the street minding your own business. A Fairfax County VA police officer approaches you and asks to search your pockets and your bag. You feel you haven’t done anything wrong but are confused about what you have to do to avoid trouble from the officer. What do you do?
- Do you have to allow the officer to search you?
- Do you have to make a statement about what you have or don’t have on you?
- Can you walk away?
- You never have to give permission for an officer to search you, your clothes, or your bags or possessions. If they are asking, then you can always say “No, thank you.”
- Just like a search, statements to the police are never required and your refusal to make a statement cannot be used against you in court.
- You are always free to ask the officer if you can walk away and if you are under arrest. If they tell you that you cannot leave, then inform them that you want a lawyer and that you don’t want to make any statement. That’s all you should say!
All of these questions and others can make an encounter like this confusing and nerve-wracking. In the moment it’s hard to know what the right thing is to do. Police can often times intimidate citizens without even meaning to.
The law, however, provides clear answers to these questions.
If you feel your rights have been violated or you have been arrested, don’t wait for your rights to be protected. You need an aggressive, experienced attorney to help work for you and be on your side no matter what. At Boone Beale, we’ve made our name providing high caliber legal service to thousands of individuals all across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Call us today at 804-780-1111 or 703-690-1222. Put our proven attorneys to work for you.