How should you interact with police?

Interacting with the police can be dangerous for both the stopped person and the officer. Neither party knows anything about each other, making for a potentially volatile and unpredictable encounter.

The vast majority of people have minimal interaction with law enforcement. If they do have run-ins with police, then they generally happen while they’re behind the wheels of their car. There are things all motorists can do to ensure that the ordeal goes as smoothly as possible.

You should always have a valid driver’s license, registration and insurance card available and ready to be examined. It could be dangerous for you to look around for these while an armed police officer is standing by your window.

You must keep your vehicle clean as a lot of junk in your car peaks police officers’ curiosity. You should also keep any drugs, alcohol or weapons out of it.

Aim to keep your hands on the steering wheel, or at the very least, in plain sight at all times. Turn any music off.

Know that you’re not obligated to answer any questions that police may ask you. It’s best if you keep your responses brief if you do respond to any of them. Don’t offer up any unnecessary information.

You should immediately ask for an attorney if you get arrested. You may want to also consult with a lawyer if a police officer comes to your home and asks you to come down to the police station to “clear things up.” They may try and convince you to come up with a written statement. Prosecutors may deem this as a “confession” when trying your case in court.

Police officers must read you your “Miranda rights” when they take you into custody. Part of this is letting you know that Texas prosecutors may use anything that you say against you if they try your case in court. A criminal defense attorney may advise you how you may be able to get a confession thrown out if the police failed to notify you of your rights as they took you into custody here in Edinburg.