What Not to Do When You’ve Been Stopped by the Police in Oklahoma
Debra Hamil was stopped for a broken taillight. A few hours and a car chase later, she found herself in jail facing charges of felony assault on an officer and resisting arrest. Hamil’s story is an extreme case, but let it be a lesson on exactly what NOT to do if you are ever stopped by the police.
These tips may seem obvious, but your emotions can easily get the better of you as Hamil shows us. Take these recommendations seriously and avoid talking yourself into jail.
- Stay Calm – Interacting with police heightens stress and triggers a fight or flight response. Always remain calm and collected. Acting aggressively is never going to work in your favor.
- Do not run – Bolting is tempting, but it will only make things worse. Do not leave the scene. Do not try to evade officers. Stay calm and let the officers leave first.
- Do not resist – If you are arrested and cuffed, do not fight back. Whatever charges you face, adding assault on a police officer makes the situation much worse.
- Do not lie – Giving an officer false information will come back to harm you in the end. That said, you have the right to remain silent. If you do not want to answer questions, simply remain silent or say, “I politely decline.” Calmly repeat yourself if they continue to question you.
Hamil’s case is an example of bad citizen behavior, but examples of bad police behavior are also an unfortunate reality. Most officers of the law are well-trained and genuinely good people, but people are people. Sometimes you get a metaphorical Hamil on the force. When that happens, the tips above can not only keep you from incriminating yourself, but also reduce your risk and help to de-escalate the situation.
If your interaction with law enforcement finds you behind bars, reach out to the Edge Law Firm today to discuss your rights. Contact us today for a free review of your case.