When you’re pulled over by the police, it’s best to say as little as possible and respond politely while answering their questions. Even when you’re courteous and promptly produce your driver’s license and car registration, the police may nonetheless give you a ticket or arrest you.
If you believe you have been unlawfully profiled or stopped, call attorney Alexander Schwartz for a free consultation about your legal rights. The Law Offices of Alexander Schwartz offers more than 30 years of legal experience and specializes in criminal law and traffic law.
If police pull you over for suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol or for any other criminal driving offense, you have the right to remain silent, but you are obligated to submit to a sobriety test. Refusal to take the test or failing the test can result in your license being suspended temporarily, per the state of Connecticut.
The arrest may be unlawful and infuriating, but the following behaviors will only aggravate the situation.
Though case law says cursing at police is free speech that is protected by the Constitution, police may view the profanity as aggressive and threatening. No matter how righteously you may feel about the incident, remember your right to remain silent and exercise it. Give your name and address only and provide requested documents, such as your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and car registration. Then, keep quiet, except to ask to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Giving the cop the middle finger is also protected as free speech, but flipping the bird can worsen the situation. Many physical actions may appear threatening to police. Be careful not to approach police or reach for your papers without their consent—and never run from the police.
Over the past several years, many instances of police misconduct and abuse have been exposed by videos recorded by civilian witnesses. In 2012, Connecticut passed a law that allows anyone to file a lawsuit for legal remedies against an officer who hinders a person from taking a photo or video of the police officer as he or she is performing his or her duties.
However, the same law also provides the police with several defenses. They will not be liable if the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that interfering with the video recording was to:
If you have questions about whether your conduct while interacting with police is protected by law or how to address any charges levied against you, call the Law Offices of Alexander Schwartz today for a free consultation. Attorney Schwartz can also tell you whether you have grounds for legal action against the police. Our offices are conveniently located in Southport, Connecticut, near Fairfield, Stamford, and Westport.
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