It doesn’t matter whether you have a criminal record or not you still have rights. Knowing your rights can help protect you if you find yourself in a situation involving the police. The police are interested in making arrests not in protecting your rights in criminal cases, the onus is going to be on you or your attorney. Here are some important tips to help you protect yourself.
- You have the right to refuse to allow police to search your home or office. However if they do have a warrant from the courts then you must let them in to do their jobs. If they do not have a warrant then you should close your door firmly and contact an attorney.
- While you have the right to refuse a sobriety test if you have been pulled over doing so is not without consequences. You will be arrested on the spot and lose your license. Most states maintain that if you have a driver’s license that automatically means you consent to a breathalyzer test at any time.
- Never be confrontational when dealing with law enforcement. While you can assert your rights, doing so in a courteous and respectful manner will make the situation go smoother. Being polite and well-spoken will get you further and it may help you not end up in jail.
- Violating probation or parole is a serious offense and you can end up serving the rest of your sentence in custody along with additional time. If you commit another crime you can expect to spend significant time in jail. Here is what you should do if you violate your probation.
- Do not ever waive your right to have an attorney present when being questioned, nor should you ever take on the job of representing yourself. This is a sure fire way to get the worst sentence possible, attorneys are there to advocate on your behalf and make sure you don’t have to go to jail any longer than necessary.
- Be very wary of what you post on social media it can and will be brought up in court if it serves the opposing side. This is particularly important in divorce cases but it can be used in other situations as well. Text messages can also be used against you. Make no mistake, law enforcement can identify your IP address and prove that posts came from your phone or computer.
- If it has been years since you got into any trouble then you may be able to have your record expunged. This means that any future employer or landlord will not be able to see if you have been previously charged with an offense.