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•    Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.

•    If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.

•    If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.

3. If you're suspected of drunk driving (DUI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended.

What to do if you're stopped in your car?

1. 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. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

2. If you're given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.

* * * And Remember * * *

•    Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.

•    Don't get into an argument with the police.

•    Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.

•    Keep your hands where the police can see them.

•    Don't run. Don't touch any police officer.

•    Don't resist even if you believe you are innocent.

•    Don't complain on the scene or tell the police they're wrong or that you're going to file a complaint.

•    Do not make any statements regarding the incident.

•    Ask for a lawyer, then CALL ME IMMEDIATELY.

•    Remember officers' badge and patrol car numbers.

•    Write down everything you remember ASAP.

What to do if you're arrested or taken to a police station?

Criminal FAQ

We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities -- especially in our relationships with the police. Everyone, including minors, has the right to courteous and respectful police treatment.

If your rights are violated, don't try to deal with the situation at the scene. You can discuss the matter with me afterwards, or file a complaint with the Internal Affairs or Civilian Complaint Board.  

Frequently Asked Questions

If the police get involved,

you NEED me involved!

What to do if you're contacted by the Police?

To fight police abuse effectively you need to know your rights. There are some things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do. If you are in the middle of a police encounter, you need a handy and quick reference to remind you what your rights and obligations are.

1. What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you bad-mouth a police officer.

2. You must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you don't have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception. The police may ask for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway.

3. You don't have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If you DO consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ASK TO SEE IT.

4. Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police -- you can be arrested for it.

1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Call me immediately.  Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Don't give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and I decide is best.

2. Ask to see a lawyer, then call me immediately. Don't say anything without me present.

3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person. The police can not listen to the call to the lawyer, so call me first.

4. Sometimes you can be released without bail, or have bail lowered. I will ask the judge about this possibility. You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.

5. Do not make any decisions in your case until you and I have talked!

There is No Way Around the Ignition Interlock Device!

The ignition interlock device is a clever invention that, once installed on a vehicle, must be blown into before the vehicle will start. If the device detects any alcohol it will prevent the vehicle from operating. It effectively works as a foolproof intoxilizer for would be under the influence drivers.

Having an ignition interlock device on your vehicle is expensive. Once installed, the device is monitored from a remote location by a company who reports directly to the courts. If the device detects alcohol, they know. If the device is removed so that the vehicle can be operated, they know. If either of the these scenario occur, the monitoring company immediately notifies the court, and the driver is now facing an order to show cause and a violation of his or her probation terms.

Due to the expense and life intrusion caused by the ignition interlock device, judges used to have discretion to order its installation on repeat offenders, or first time drunk drivers with high blood alcohol results. This has all changed. Utah law now requires everyone convicted of a DUI to install the ignition interlock device, whether ordered by the court or not.

If you are over 21 years old and are convicted of your first DUI, you have to have an ignition interlock device installed for eighteen months. If you pick up your first DUI and you are under 21 years old, you get to keep the interlock device on your vehicles for three years. If you violate your ignition interlock device rules, you must keep it for three more years (and your license gets revoked for a year). If you pick up a subsequent DUI, three more years. If you refuse a chemical test during a DUI investigation, you get the three years of ignition interlock on your car. Finally, if you are convicted of a felony DUI, you get to have the device on your vehicles for six years - unless you killed someone, then its ten years.

The best way to avoid the expense and inconvenience of the ignition interlock device is to avoid driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in your system. If you do have to install the device, however, the best way to get rid of it is to either sell all your vehicles and not drive, or comply with the terms, and never drive while intoxicated.

 What to do if the police come to your home?

1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don't have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

2. However, in some emergency situations (like when a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.

3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If you are in a building, "close by" usually means just the room you are in.

What to do if you're contacted by the Police?

What to do if  you're stopped for questioning?

What to do if you're stopped in your car?

What to do if you're arrested or taken to the Police Station?

What to do if the Police come to your home?

There is No Way Around the Ignition Interlock Device.

What to do if you are stopped for questioning?

1. It's not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer can make the police suspicious about you. If you are asked to identify yourself, see paragraph 2 above.

2. Police may "pat-down" your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon. Don't physically resist, but make it clear that you don't consent to any further search.

3. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.

4. Don't bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.