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How Do People Commonly Come Into Contact With Law Enforcement?


Most police encounters start with some sort of police investigation or an allegation of a crime. For example, a traffic stop could be the beginning of a police encounter. That traffic stop could lead to the officer issuing minor tickets or conducting an investigation for a DUI. It could result in the officers searching the vehicle and finding drugs, guns, or other contraband. Police encounters can also occur on the street and this would include a street interview, where the police just approach a person and start asking them some questions. It could also be what’s commonly referred to as a stop and frisk, where police stop an individual and search them for weapons or contraband. Sometimes, when police are investigating a crime, they will contact a person and invite them to the police station to discuss the situation. Depending on how law enforcement makes the initial contact, that may present an opportunity to file motions to suppress evidence for illegal search and seizure.

What Mistakes Do People Commonly Make In An Interaction With Law Enforcement?

The biggest mistake people make is talking to the police without a lawyer. They are professionals and they have the upper hand when they are talking to you, and a lot of people fail to see that. A lot of people also do not understand that the police are conducting an investigation and if they are talking to you, there is a good possibility that they think that you are the one who committed the crime. I also think it’s a bad idea to exhibit any behavior other than being respectful and courteous to the police, even if you think the police officers are being rude to you, or are wrongfully accusing you. Confronting a police officer with aggressive behavior is never a good idea because you’ll never prevail in the situation. You can never win the argument. It could also lead to additional charges of obstruction or resisting. The police could also use increased levels of force to arrest. The best place to argue about an improper arrest or search is with your attorney in court where we have a more balanced playing field.

Do People Generally Give A Statement To Police In The Absence Of An Attorney?

The great majority of people, when confronted by the police, make an incriminating statement, especially when police encourage them to do so. This is because the police are trained in how to interrogate people and obtain confessions. They are trained professionals. It is very easy for law enforcement to use various tactics to convince you that making a statement is the best thing. It almost never is. If I am with you, I can cut off communication and protect you from intimidation and intense questioning.

Why Can Talking To Police Be A Huge Problem For Your Criminal Case Down The Line?

Lots of criminal cases really hinge on whether the defendant admits to committing the crime or not. Cases can be charged with relatively weak evidence. Those cases have a completely different complexion if the charged individual admits to committing the crime. A case with weak evidence can be defended much easier if than if there is an admission. It cannot be overstated how important it is to not make any admissions to the police and hire a lawyer as soon as possible.

What Kind Of Training Does Law Enforcement Receive In Regards To Questioning People?

The police are highly trained professionals. Particularly, detectives and investigators are taught different techniques on how to question or interrogate suspects. Because they have these techniques and procedures, it gives them a huge advantage. They might make you feel like it would look bad to the judge if you don’t talk. Often, they say that hiring an attorney will make you look guilty. This is absolutely untrue because this information is generally not admissible at trial. It’s just another reason why an individual should not engage in a conversation with a police officer without having an attorney.

Are Police Allowed To Lie To You? Is There A Limit To What They Can Say?

It’s perfectly legal for a police officer to lie or deceive you while you are being questioned. In fact, that’s part of their training. They are trained to lie to get information from you. If you are being questioned by the police, you cannot rely on the truthfulness of any information they are giving you. They are not trying to help you or give you useful information. Everything that they say is used to manipulate you and get information from you to accomplish their goals. Nothing is off limits, other than if someone has asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege to be silent or has asserted their right to an attorney. Everything else is on the table. This surprises and shocks a lot of people, but is absolutely correct.

For more information on Encounters With Law Enforcement In IL, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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