WHAT TO DO IF STOPPED BY THE POLICE IN NEW YORK

IN YOUR HOME

1. If the police come to your home and ask to enter, you have the right to refuse their entry unless they have a warrant.
2. However, in some limited situations (like when a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are in hot pursuit) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant or your consent.
3. Do not invite the police inside, nor should you step outside. If the police believe you have committed a crime, the police usually need an arrest warrant to go into your home to arrest you.
4. If you are arrested outside your home, do not accept any offers to go inside with them to get dressed, change, get a jacket, call your wife, or any other reason. Your acceptance of their offer may be considered consent to search your home.

IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING
1. Keep your hands where police can see them – don’t put them in your pockets. (Don’t make the police nervous by wondering if you have a weapon) Don’t make any sudden movements. Never touch a police officer.
2. Ask if you are under arrest. You have the right to be told why you are being arrested and the nature of the charges against you.
3. Try to resist the temptation to mouth off at the police, even if the stop is unwarranted. That could lead to your arrest and police have a lot of discretion in what charges can be brought.
4. If police have reasonable suspicion to believe you have a weapon, they may perform a frisk and pat down your clothing. Don’t physically resist, but make it clear that you don’t consent to any further search.

IF YOU’RE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR
1. Keep your hands on the steering wheel while the officer approaches your vehicle. Upon request, show them your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search.
2. If a police officer asks you to exit your car, roll your widow up, exit the car and immediately close the car door. Lock the car door and place your keys in your pocket. If passengers are asked to exit, tell them the same thing.
3. If the police are searching your car, don’t look at the places you wish they wouldn’t search. Don’t react to the search at all, and especially not to questions like “Who does this belong to?”
4. If you’re given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.

IF YOU’RE ARRESTED OR TAKEN TO A POLICE STATION
1. Don’t say anything without a lawyer. If you’re arrested or taken into custody, ask to see your lawyer immediately. The police have an obligation to contact or allow you to contact your attorney. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and to talk to your lawyer before you talk to the police.
2. You may also ask to contact a family member, or friend. However, if you are permitted to make a phone call, anything you say at the precinct may be recorded or listened to. Be very careful, and never talk about the facts of your case over the telephone to a non-attorney

The Mouganis Law Firm is a New York criminal defense firm representing clients in criminal defense and civil rights matters in the Greater Rochester Area of New York. Should you have any questions and require the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney, please contact us at (585) 301-2496. Rochester, New York Criminal Defense Attorney.

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