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How can you protect yourself when interacting with police?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Uncategorized

It can be incredibly intimidating to speak with law enforcement, even if you have not done anything wrong. It is important for everyone to know how to protect their interests and to be aware of their rights in the event that they are questioned or under investigation. When you know your rights, you will be in a better position to protect yourself and to fight back against an infringement of your rights. 

Interacting with law enforcement may be a new activity for you. It is normal to feel nervous or unsure of what to do or say if they question you, whether it is during a traffic stop or in another situation. However, it may help to know that you have rights, and there are limits to what police can do and say to you. Any person will benefit from having an understanding of his or her rights. 

During a traffic stop 

One of the most common ways that people interact with law enforcement is during a traffic stop. The police may stop you if they suspect you of breaking a law, such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The police may also pull you over if they witness you violating a traffic law, such as driving over the posted speed limit. Regardless of why law enforcement stopped you, it may be helpful to remember the following: 

  • Police will likely start their conversation with you by asking for your information, including your license and registration. 
  • Depending on what law enforcement thinks is going on, they may ask you to step outside of the vehicle. 
  • Police may ask you to submit to field sobriety tests, as well as a chemical test of your breath to determine blood alcohol content.  
  • If you refuse to cooperate, decline to take a test or do anything that police interpret to be threatening, you may face arrest or other consequences. 

If you suspect that Michigan law enforcement violated your rights during the course of a traffic stop, you do not have to remain silent. You may be able to fight back against unfair treatment, possibly pursuing a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. By working with an experienced professional, you can understand your rights and how you can proceed if you are facing charges or other complications.