What Are Your Rights When Dealing With The Police?


Being stopped by cops can be stressful, especially because you do not know what they will say or what potential charges you might face. It is easy to get tense and do or say the wrong thing during such times. Therefore, it can be helpful to know about your rights when dealing with the police.

The police are undoubtedly powerful people, but at the end of the day, their powers over citizens are limited as well. Knowing what the police can demand from you and what you are entitled to can be a gamechanger. If you were wrongfully stopped and arrested, a criminal defense lawyer Knoxville, TN, can help you.

Your rights when dealing with the police

  • Right to refuse to give consent.

If a police officer stops you without suspecting you of any particular crime, you do not need to answer their questions or allow them to search your vehicle. The only way they can conduct an investigation is if you give consent. Also, keep in mind that you can withdraw your consent anytime after giving it if you wish to discontinue.

  • Right to remain silent.

If a police officer asks for information after stopping your car or arresting you, you have the right to remain silent. The officer cannot legally force answers out of you. When you are in such situations, it is suggested not to say anything without consulting your attorney. Even when you think you are saying the right things, your words can still be interpreted wrongly.

  • Right to delay answering their questions.

If you are not detained in custody, you have the right to ask the police officer to question you later and delay answering them. This can be beneficial in many ways. It allows you to speak to your attorney, learn more about the law, understand the consequences of your answers and figure out your next moves.

  • Right to a lawyer.

You have the right to speak to your attorney when dealing with the police. Even if you do not have an attorney at hand or cannot afford one, you have the right to a government-appointed lawyer.

  • Right to be informed about your charges.

If the police have detained you or taken you into custody, you have the right to be informed about your charges. No police can arrest you without stating the specific grounds of arrest.

Some police officers can take advantage of people’s lack of legal knowledge, which is why innocent people often get involved in trouble. If you have legal questions or are looking for ways to reduce risks for yourself, speaking with an attorney can help.