If you are ever stopped by a police officer, either from walking down your street, driving, or at your house, here are the top five ways to better protect yourself during the encounter. Following these rules can help you prevent additional interactions or fines they may try to produce while meeting with them.

Keep a Relaxed Attitude

When talking to police officers, you should do your best to keep a relaxed attitude and prevent yourself from becoming aggressive or ill tempered. Even though no one likes being confronted by the authorities, you need to offer them the respect they deserve.

All you need to do is cooperative accordingly while keeping your rights in mind to prevent and danger to yourself.

Remember Your Right to Remain Silent

This may seem like the most rehearsed line in any cop movie, but you should remember at all times that you have the right to remain silent. Even if your vehicle is pulled over by the authorities, all you have to do is offer the police officer your license and registration.

If the authorities ask you questions, you have the right to refuse to answer them. Instead, you can ask the officer why they’re asking the questions in the first place. However, you should still be respectful. Very few police officers are out trying to cause problems.

You Have the Right to Refuse a Search of Your Property

As a citizen, you never have to consent to a search. Even if a police officer threatens you, you are not legally obliged to allow officers to search your property. In fact, your fourth amendment rights protect you from unwarranted searches in your car, home, or other property. If the officer cannot physically see the object in plain sight, they cannot force you to allow them to search through your property.

Do Not Run Away

Remember, you are innocent until you are proven guilty. If you encounter a police officer, do not freak out or overreact. After all, running away from a police officer automatically makes you look suspicious, even if you did not do anything illegal. Try to follow instructions and do not attempt to flee from police custody. It can have serious future consequences.

Don’t Touch Them

This should be pretty self-explanatory. Even a casual touch on the arm is not okay. Any kind of touching is a felony and you could end up getting hurt if you make the wrong move. Don’t touch an on-duty police officer under any circumstances.

If a police encounter does go wrong…

Remember that you are still entitled to legal protection. There are laws that cover police encounters and they are in place for a reason. Sometimes the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to seek out the aid of a lawyer who has experience dealing with police encounters.

If you are ever stopped by a police officer, keep these tips in mind. You have certain rights, so make sure you use them. Remember, too, that police officers are people too and they are just trying to do their jobs. They play an important role in our society but you can still protect yourself and your rights.

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