Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Things You Should (and Should Not) Do When Interacting With Police

More than a dozen people were recently arrested in a firearm and drug seizure that occurred following investigations by two separate agencies in Springfield. Springfield police stated that over the last few weeks, investigators have performed surveillance at the High St. and School St. corridors to catch activity involving drug dealing and firearm dealing as well as prostitution. 

One man was arrested on a warrant for firearms and drug trafficking charges, while another man was arrested on a firearm warrant. A third man allegedly tried to evade the police, and a chase ensued. At one point, the man attempted to trip an officer and reached into his fanny pack. When law enforcement told him to stop, the man dropped his fanny pack and attempted to flee. A loaded gun and Massachusetts ID were later found in the fanny pack.

Trying to trip a police officer is obviously not a good idea. Interacting with law enforcement can be difficult, and these situations tend to escalate quickly. It is vital to know your rights as well as what a police officer can require of you during these encounters.

You are Allowed to Protect Yourself During a Police Encounter

The things that you say to law enforcement matter. Everything you say can be used against you later on if you face criminal charges. For this reason, you have the right to say nothing. To assert this right, you should simply tell law enforcement that you would like to remain silent.

You need not consent to a search of yourself, your vehicle, or your house. In New York City, law enforcement is required to let you know when they request your consent to a search and to inform you that you have the right to say no. If you consent to a search, it can impact your rights later in court. If law enforcement states that they have a warrant to search a premise, you should make sure to ask to see it. If law enforcement does not have a warrant, you should not consent to a search.

Avoid interfering or obstructing the police because this can lead to your arrest.

What to Do if You are Stopped by the Police

Law enforcement can stop you so long as reasonable suspicion exists that you either committed, are committing, or are about to commit a criminal offense. During this time, you should request if you are free to leave. Avoid saying anything bad about the police or attempting to run away, even if you believe what is happening is not reasonable because this could result in your arrest.

Contact a Drug Defense Attorney

Following drug arrests in Massachusetts, one of the best things that you can do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.