What you need to know about probable cause Remember that when an officer approaches you, they have no right to detain you unless there is in existence a reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed a crime or traffic violation. That’s called probable cause. Please […]
When a Cop Stops You on the Sidewalk You’re walking on the street one day and you hear that all familiar radio, maybe even a squad car sounding off and, just like that, you’re engaged in a situation with a police officer. In these situations […]
Police Pat Downs and Knowing Your Rights
It’s an unfortunate reality we live in where some police officers think that the rule of the law is bendable or even altogether breakable when it comes again.
You might see a police officer texting on their cell at a stoplight. You might watch a squad car fail to signal before turning or changing lanes.
But, the fact of the matter is no police officer is above the law. If there were a supervising officer looking over the shoulder of every police officer, you would find all police behaving far differently. But, we do not have an endless amount of resources in that department. So, the next best move is to hold an officer accountable. A police officer is required to follow a staunch protocol whenever questioning, arresting, or stopping an American citizen.
In this blog, let’s discuss pat downs. First, pat downs exist and are within the realm of an officer’s rights for their own safety. But there are some definite nuances to this rule. You’re allowed to let an officer pat down your outer clothing — as a way to see if you have any weapons. If (and only if) an officer feels something in your pockets or on your person that feels like a weapon are they able to go into your pockets.
So, what happens if there’s nothing they find that they believe to be a weapon? They may ask you to empty your pockets. But this is where you’re able to use your indelible right to say, “NO.” Then proceed to ask, “Am I free to go, officer?”
There’s is NO law in place that requires an American citizen to empty their pockets when an officer asks.
Remember that the only time a law enforcement officer is able to take your personal property out of your pockets is after you’ve already been arrested.
Visit the Eric Wetlaufer website whenever you’re wondering what rights you have as an American citizen. It will completely change your dealings with police, so long as you use them correctly and respectfully.
What to Do When a Police Officer Knocks on Your Door Even though it will always come as an unwelcome surprise, police might have a reason to knock on the door and they may even ask to enter your home. At these moments in time […]