handcuffed man being arrested by police officer

Being stopped by the police can make anyone nervous and worried. But remember, even if the police think you might have done something wrong, they can’t take away your rights. 

Your Right to Stay Quiet and Ask Questions 

One of your biggest rights is to not say too much to the police. Talking a lot could make things harder for you. But you can still ask some important questions and keep quiet at the same time. 

Take note of how the officer answers you. If they don’t respect your rights, it could help you later if your case goes to court. 

Key Questions to Ask When the Police Stop You 

1. “Are You Detaining Me?” 

It’s good to know your rights when you talk to the police. Ask if they are keeping you there or if you can go. Police can only keep you if they have a good reason to think you’re involved in a crime. This question helps you stand up for your rights. If they say you can go, just leave quietly without doing anything else. 

2. “Am I Under Arrest?” 

Police need a strong reason to arrest you. They need real proof that you might be linked to a crime. By asking this, you’ll know what you should do next. If they say you’re under arrest, don’t say anything and wait for your defense lawyer. If they say you’re not under arrest, ask when you can leave. 

3. “Why Are You Detaining or Arresting Me?” 

If the police don’t have a good reason to keep you or arrest you, they shouldn’t. Ask them why they are doing it. Remember what they say, as it could help your defense lawyer later. While you’re being kept by the police, it’s best not to talk too much. 

4. “How Long Will You Detain Me?” 

   Police shouldn’t keep you for a very long time without a good reason. Ask them how long they’ll keep you. Stay calm and don’t argue. Just remember what they say for later. 

5. “Do You Have a Search Warrant?” 

   Police can search you, but they usually can’t search your house or car without a special paper called a warrant, unless they have a very good reason. Ask if they have a warrant. This helps you know if they are allowed to do the search. Even if you don’t want them to search, don’t try to stop them. Your lawyer can deal with it later if they find something they shouldn’t have. 

6. “May I Speak to My Attorney?” 

You have the right to talk to a lawyer, and this is very important. The court will give you one if you can’t afford it. Make sure you ask clearly to talk to your lawyer. Don’t talk to the police until you’ve talked to your lawyer. 

7. Be Respectful… 

Be sure to be respectful and kind while interacting with the police.  Often times people can get irritated and annoyed by having to deal with the police but it is in your best interest to speak kindly and ask any questions respectfully.   

Getting Help from a Spokane Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Police are important for keeping our places safe. But when they stop you, you need to know what to do so you don’t get into more trouble or let them break your rights.  

Asking the right questions helps keep you safe. Stay calm and polite, and this can stop things from getting worse.

If you’re in a situation like this, it’s a good idea to talk to a local, Spokane defense lawyer who knows Washington State laws inside and out, as well as the local judicial system. We’re here to help you. Contact us to find out how we can help with your case.