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How should I handle police who think I committed a crime?

Dealing with police officers who suspect that you have committed a crime isn't easy. Those police officers often try to push you into saying something that will incriminate you. It is vital that you understand your rights and that you know how to handle these types of situations. Generally, you should invoke your right to have an attorney present if you are being questioned by police officers.

What should I do if an officer stops me on the street?

If a police officer thinks you committed a crime, he or she might stop you on the street. In some cases, the encounter will involve the officer trying to ask you questions in a manner that would get you to admit to criminal behavior. It is vital that you don't provide the officer with anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt. You should only give your basic information, such as name, birth date and address. If you can leave, you should do so; however, if you are in custody, you should request an attorney.

What if I'm arrested?

If you are arrested, you should invoke your right to have an attorney present when you are questioned. The police officer should read you your Miranda rights prior to being questioned. Make sure you take advantage of your right to have legal counsel. This is the starting point for your defense. It is vital that you don't give any information to police officers if you intend to plead not guilty to the charges that are going to be placed against you.

There is a variety of variables that can come into the picture when you are dealing with police officers. With that in mind, you should always work to protect yourself while you protect your rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Helpful Hints for Individuals Suspected of Criminal Activity," accessed July 01, 2015

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