If you have been arrested, stopped for questioning, or pulled over by police in Florida, there are a number of things you should absolutely not do. First among those is to be argumentative, combative, or refuse to follow lawful commands given to you by a police officer. Instead, you should cooperate and obey all lawful commands given by police officers. Although many people naturally may feel they have done nothing wrong which would merit being pulled over or stopped by police or may believe their arrest is unjustified, being uncooperative or rude to police officers can often end up in someone being charged with more than just whatever the initial behavior the person was arrested for in the first place may have been. It is natural to feel defensive if you feel that you are being unfairly singled out by police officers, particularly if others committed the same offense and were not pulled over or arrested by police. Nevertheless, cooperating with police can often result in you facing lesser, or no, charges if police feel that you are helping them out in doing their job and you are not making life more difficult for them. Police have a difficult job and face hostile people on a daily basis, so a polite, helpful person can be a welcome change for them and can ultimately benefit you if you are the person who is being arrested or questioned.
However, cooperation does not necessarily involve doing anything and everything police may ask you, particularly once you have been arrested and police have placed you into custody. This advice as to cooperating with police completely changes when you have been formally arrested, read your Miranda rights, and taken into custody. At this point, you have the constitutional right to remain silent and you should absolutely do so to protect any legal defenses you may have.
Benefit of Cooperation with Police Requests and Commands
Cooperating with police when you are arrested or stopped/pulled over for questioning can result in either not being arrested in the first place or in reduced charges being filed against you or recommended to the prosecutor by the police officers. If you have ever been pulled over for speeding or another traffic infraction, you know that acting in a polite and respectful manner towards police officers can often result in an officer letting you go with a warning instead of writing a ticket. Although prosecutors ultimately will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge someone with a particular crime, arguing with or becoming combative with police officers can often lead the officers to recommend to prosecutors that additional charges, such as resisting arrest, be added to whatever other criminal charges you were already facing. This can mean additional prison time, increased fines, or more probation, simply because you chose to get lippy with police.
There Are Limits to How Much You Should Cooperate with Police If You Are Arrested or Stopped for Questioning
However, there are limits to how much (and when) you should cooperate with police, depending on the circumstances of your interactions with police officers. Cooperation with police requests does not necessarily mean that you should do anything or answer any question that police may ask you once you have formally been placed under arrest. You still have the constitutional right to remain silent if you are taken into custody and police ask to interview you. You should absolutely not speak with police regarding the factual details of what transpired that led to your arrest in the first place once police have arrested you and read you your Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent and that anything you say can and will be used against you in the criminal proceedings against you. The chances of you saying something that could later jeopardize defense of the case if charges are eventually filed against you are high if you decide to speak with police before talking to an attorney. Anything you tell police after you have been read your Miranda warnings is fair game for the prosecution to use against you in later criminal proceedings and they will do so if you speak with police before first speaking to an attorney.
Contact Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Bryan Raymond
If you have been arrested or stopped by police for questioning in Palm Beach County, you should cooperate with police as much as possible. Failing to cooperate with police can result in police arresting you or recommending additional or more serious charges to prosecutors in a situation where they may not otherwise do so. If you become aggressive and combative, you may even face additional charges such as resisting arrest. If you have been arrested in Palm Beach County and need an experienced criminal defense attorney for any crime, contact Bryan M. Raymond of the Law Office of Bryan Raymond today and you can be assured of aggressive, zealous representation no matter what charge you may be facing. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach County, contact experienced criminal defense attorney Bryan Raymond today at (561) 682-1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.