criminal law

If you are facing criminal charges your reputation, your freedom, and your future might be at stake. It is very important to understand what your rights are and what defenses are available. Different classifications of crimes provide you with different rights. As such, you should be aware of your rights with the police, your rights in court and your rights after the trial.

What to do in the event of an encounter with the police:

  • Don't make any statements regarding the incident.
  • Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest, and make no other statements other than to identify yourself and to provide proof of your identification.
  • Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions. Make no sudden movements.
  • Don't argue with the police officer.
  • Remember, anything you say or do can and will be used against you.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Don't run. Don't touch or attempt to touch the police officer.
  • Don't resist the officer, even if you believe you are innocent.
  • You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer.
  • Don't complain on the scene or threaten to file a complaint, even if you intend to do so.
  • Be polite and respectful. Never talk back to a police officer.
  • Ask for and remember the officer's badge and patrol car numbers.
  • Write down everything you remember as soon as possible.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • If you are injured, seek medical attention.
  • Take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible.
  • If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with the police department's Internal Affairs Division or Civilian Complaint Board.
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