Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

Dealing with the Police - Guidance on How to Interact

Posted Friday, January 12, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

It is never easy or simple to deal with the police. It is frightening and a lot is on the line. The following is some guidance on how to best interact with the police if you are being questioned, interrogated, or when you’re pulled over.

Be polite, be respectful.

How you interact with the police is important and can help or harm your defense against criminal charges later. First and foremost, in any interaction with law enforcement officers: be polite and respectful.

Even if they are not being respectful to you, even if they are outright rude, condescending, or cruel, we urge you to remain respectful to them. This may not be easy, but it is in your best interest.

Remember the police are not your friends.

If the police are talking to you, you are at risk. Never lose sight of the fact that they are not your friends. Some people have a natural tendency to want to please authority figures, particularly in stressful situations. Saying things in an effort to please them or get them to leave you alone will not work. The police have a job to do, and that is investigating crimes and protecting the public. If the police are talking to you in an official capacity, they are looking for suspects. They want to make arrests. Most police officers are quite good at their jobs and they know how to read people. If you’re scared they will utilize that to their advantage.

Anything you say can and will be used against you.

If you volunteer statements to the police, what you say can and will be used against you. The most advisable course of action is to stop talking and get yourself a lawyer.

Our advice is to never give a statement or answer police questions without an attorney present.

Exercise your right to remain silent.

You always have the right to remain silent. It is your right whether or not the police remind you of your right to remain silent. The police do not have to read you your rights for them to become effective: you always have your rights.

If you answer questions on the spot you may inadvertently give the police evidence that will help secure a conviction against you. You may not fully understand your rights. Remaining silent until your attorney is by your side helps ensure that you are protected.

You do not have to answer questions.

This is another way of stating you have the right to remain silent, but it is a point that bears repeating. You are under no legal obligation or duty to answer questions from the police.

Lying to the police is a crime.

If you do answer questions, know that making false statements to the police is a crime.

Police are allowed to lie to you.

Police are legally allowed to lie to you in their official capacity. This is yet another reason that you should remain silent: you cannot trust what the police tell you because they can lie to you.

Refuse voluntary tests.

This guidance is specific to being pulled over on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). In the state of Washington you are under no obligation to submit to Field Sobriety Tests. They are purely voluntary.

A police officer may lead you to believe that you must take the Field Sobriety Tests (they are allowed to lie to you!), but you are under no legal obligation to do so. In general, you can and should politely refuse to take any Field Sobriety Test. These tests are not measured by an objective standard and typically will only serve to harm your DUI defense.

Ask for an attorney.

You always have the right to an attorney during any police interrogation and during any legal proceeding. Exercise this right.

Once you ask for an attorney the police are no longer supposed to interrogate you until your attorney is present. This effectively stops the interrogation for a time and ensures that if/when you do answers questions, your attorney will be there to protect your rights and ensure you do not offer statements that will bolster a criminal case against you.

Hire Padula & Associates, LLC to Defend You

When you hire our firm we will evaluate the facts of your case and guide you on the best course of action. You will have a former prosecutor on your side.

Founding Partner Lizanne Padula served as the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Franklin, Clallam, and Jefferson counties. Through the course of her career with the State, Lizanne acquired extensive experience as a criminal trial attorney. As a Prosecutor, her case load included DUI cases, Domestic Violence cases, Drug offenses, and Homicide cases.

Lizanne’s work as a Prosecutor gives her special insight into how the Prosecutor in your case operates. She knows the tactics the government uses when bringing criminal charges. Her experience affords her insider information that greatly benefits her ability to build a strong defense against any criminal charges you are facing. We invite you to learn more about Lizanne here.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can help you fight the charges that have been filed against you. We answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer free consultations. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or contact us on the web to schedule your fee consultation today.

Our firm handles State and Federal criminal cases throughout Washington State, including King County and Snohomish County.