What NOT to Do or Say if Approached or Detained by Police
There are many reasons why you
might be stopped or approached by the Memphis police—and not every police encounter is
negative. You might be approached by an officer if you fit the description of a suspect, appear to
need assistance, are in an area where a crime recently occurred, have been pointed out as a suspect
or are believed to have witnessed a crime.
Whatever the reason an officer decides to speak to
you, your reaction and the extent of your cooperation can influence how long you’re detained.
The team from the Memphis criminal law office of Stephen Leffler recommends some helpful tips
in protecting your rights and avoiding making harmful voluntary
Refuse to cooperate, at least during initial questioning
to determine the purpose of the inquiry.
Argue or display anger or frustration.
any sudden moves.
Hide your hands.
Over-react. Remember, you are innocent until
proven guilty in a court of law.
Forget to notify the officer of any weapons on your person
or in your car.
Threaten or become hostile toward the officer.
Sit in a dark car at
night. If pulled over, turn on the car’s interior light.
Get out of the car, unless
instructed to do so.
If you are being held or have been arrested by the police,
Forget that you should be given your Miranda rights.
Forget what you
have talked about with the officer. Make notes, if possible.
Say something or write
something down that you’ll regret later.
Presume that the officer is telling the
Try to make a deal with the police. Only a prosecutor can make a deal, and your
attorney should be present.
Automatically answer every question you are asked. You should
have your attorney present.
Think that you can talk your way out of police custody without
If you’ve been detained or arrested, you should act quickly to
protect your rights and ensure a strong defense. Contact Memphis criminal
defense attorney Stephen Leffler.