What to Do if Police Violate Your Rights
When police stop and interrogate you, it’s not usually a pleasant experience. Whether you witnessed a crime, committed one or are being falsely accused of committing one, most people don’t want to answer investigators’ questions – especially when the police are being a little less-than-friendly about it.
Most of us just have a natural inclination to obey authority; we learn it when we’re kids. Unfortunately, that means it can be tough to tell if police are overstepping their bounds and violating your constitutional rights.
Many people don’t even question whether the police violated their rights until after the incident.
Your Most Important Right
Police don’t necessarily have to arrest you to violate your rights. However, in many cases, police violate citizens’ rights during and after an arrest – and some police, although they should know better, don’t realize that they’re doing so.
Always remember that you have the right to remain silent, and you need to exercise that right. That doesn’t mean denying what they’re accusing you of; it simply means that you don’t have to answer any questions before you’ve talked to your Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer. Even if you’re completely innocent, it’s usually a good idea to keep quiet. When they say, “Anything you say can and will be used against you,” they’re serious.
Reply to only the questions that you need to answer, such as your name and address, and ask to speak to an attorney.
Know Your Rights
If you suspect the police violated your rights, you could be correct. The Fourth Amendment, for instance, protects us from unreasonable searches and seizure of property… but do you know how to discern what is “reasonable”? Police may be counting on the fact that you don’t.
Document Everything if Police Violate Your Rights
It’s difficult to prove that police violated your rights if you can’t remember exactly what happened. If the police have overstepped their bounds, write down exactly what they said or did, as soon and as clearly as possible. It’s important that you record the details before your memory of the incident fades. If pictures would be helpful (such as pictures of injuries the police may have caused you) take them as soon as possible.
A Milwaukee Lawyer Can Help Sort This Out
For the most part, it’s a good idea to talk to a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer if you believe police have violated your rights. Your attorney can protect your rights moving forward and help sort through the details of the case to determine whether police overstepped their bounds and caused you harm in the process.