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What to do if stopped by police

There may be occasions when you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation. This can occur if you are stopped in your car. It can occur as the result of an accusation being made by another. If you believe that you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation, there are certain steps that you should take to protect yourself.

Initially, it is almost never in your best interest to make statements to law enforcement officers unless you have been competently advised by a criminal defense lawyer. This does not mean that you have anything to hide. It does mean that, when under stress, we can all say things that are not necessarily in our best interest. Therefore, it is best to consult with a competent and experienced criminal defense lawyer before ever agreeing to make any statements to law enforcement.

You should contact a competent criminal defense lawyer immediately. The earlier that a criminal defense lawyer can intervene, the more likely that your rights will be protected. If the investigation can be nipped in the bud, a criminal prosecution may be avoided entirely. Even if a criminal prosecution results, your chances of successfully defending that prosecution are greatly enhanced if a competent criminal defense lawyer is involved at an early stage.

It is important to record the events that are relevant to the subject of the investigation. You should provide this information to your attorney at the earliest possible opportunity. The names of witnesses, locations of events, any other potentially relevant information that will assist your lawyer in conducting a thorough investigation, should be made available to your lawyer immediately. A thorough investigation by your lawyer is the first step in successfully defending a criminal prosecution.

If you are arrested by a police officer or other enforcement authority, do not resist. Be polite, courteous and cooperative. However, you should not answer questions about your case until you have had an opportunity to consult with a competent lawyer. We all have a constitutional right to remain silent. You should exercise that right and make no statements until you have had an opportunity to consult extensively with your lawyer.

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Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler
17 West Tenth Street
Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814-240-3339
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