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What Do You Do if You are Stopped by the Police

Posted on November 10, 2015

Azrak on the Law
First a little history. In the early 1800’s Sir Robert Peel was responsible for establishing the first modern police force in England.Peel was determined that public peace and good order should not be dependent upon a standing army, or the coercion of secret police, or the unpredictability of non-professional volunteers.
Instead, Peel successfully established an approach to policing that was unique because the police derived its power and authority almost exclusively from the public’s cooperation. This established the gold standard of modern policing: to serve and protect the public (and,of course, catch the bad guys).This methodology of policing cannot happen without the public’s full cooperation.
Recent events have shown that too many police and too many members of the public have forgotten this simple principle of cooperation and duties owed each other, and as a result this has led to tragedy and death. The outcome of this failure to respect the duties owed each other result in disastrous incidents between the police and the public. This article attempts to give you some guidance on how to keep any interaction you have from turning into a disaster.

What is expected of you when you are pulled over in your automobile or otherwise stopped and questioned by the police? It requires COOPERATION! Do not resist and above all remain calm. You must not resist the efforts of the police officer(s) to stop,question,investigate, charge and or arrest you.
This is regardless of guilt or innocence, the constitutionality of the stop, and/or the legality of the arrest. If stopped in your automobile, keep your hands in plain sight – rest them on the steering wheel (any passengers should keep their hands in their lap), do not reach in the glove compartment or under your seat, into your handbag, or for your wallet until instructed to do so. It is also a good practice to put your car in park and turn off the engine.These actions clearly demonstrate cooperation.

However, if after you have been ticketed or mistreated or you feel that the stop was illegal, or the actions of the police were beyond the bounds of their authority, the appropriate place to voice this is in court.Azrak &Associates LLC will assist you in your defense by helping gather the evidence, assemble
the legal precedents and fashion the arguments for a proper and peaceful and legal determination. If you were in any way injured by the police during this stop we help you press charges of police misconduct and sue for injuries.

Have a Question: If you have a legal question, you may click HERE, or you can contact the author of this column at ask@azrakonthelaw.com or at (973) 839-9062.

About the Author: Azrak & Associates, LLC staff attorneys are admitted to practice law in New Jersey, NewYork, and Washington, D.C. Azrak & Associates, LLC, is a full-service general practice law firm located in Pompton Plains, NJ and Nyack, NY. You must not rely on the above information as an alternative to legal advice from an appropriately qualified attorney.This column does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you may contact our office.

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