As citizens of the United States, we have rights, and one of these is the right to call a lawyer before making a statement to the police. Regardless of the legal circumstances, having an experienced attorney by your side is always in your best interests. While you may be intimidated by the situation and be nervous about saying, “not until I have spoken with my lawyer,” this is, nevertheless, exactly what you should say if you are stopped and questioned by the police.
Pulled Over for a Traffic Stop
Traffic stops often lead to arrests for possession. With the hyper-focus on opioids, you can even be arrested for prescription medications like Xanax or OxyContin if you do not happen to have your prescription bottle with you. Being pulled over by the police can leave the most poised among us rattled, so do not take this opportunity to explain yourself – wait for your lawyer.
Arrested for Shoplifting
Generally, the stores we shop in have cameras installed throughout them, and if you are caught on camera even innocently putting a can of cat food in your pocket while you search for your phone in your bag, it can lead to a shoplifting arrest. Even a minor shoplifting conviction can have a major impact in your life – when you are job hunting, for example – and such charges should never be taken lightly. If you are accused of shoplifting, ask for a lawyer.
Search and Seizure
Often, a routine traffic stop for a defective light – or anything else – can morph into a situation in which the officer believes he or she has the right to search the vehicle in question. For example, if an officer stops you for driving 10 miles over the speed limit and decides that he or she smells marijuana and then proceeds to search your vehicle without your permission, it may be a case of unreasonable search and seizure. Again, however, this is no time to get lippy – simply keep your cool and ask for a lawyer. In this situation, your silence is the best strategy.
Why Call a Lawyer?
There are several solid reasons why you should call an attorney if you are stopped and charged by the police, including:
- You have rights, and your experienced criminal lawyer knows how these rights apply to your situation.
- Your criminal lawyer has the resources, experience, and knowledge to help you obtain the best possible resolution of your case.
- Your criminal lawyer will speak on your behalf and will not incriminate you in the process. The fact is that the police are adept at guiding suspects’ testimonies, and after being stopped by the police is a terrible time to try to think on your feet.