What Are Your Rights When Questioned By Police In New Jersey

Experience matters. With nearly 40 years of experience, you can rely on Robert J. DeGroot Law, your trusted white collar crime lawyer in New Jersey, to limit your exposure to the consequences of any possible damaging criminal charges that you face. It’s very important to know your rights when it comes to dealing with the police. To be questioned or get arrested by the police can at first be a shocking and complicated experience – especially if it’s your first time.

Can the police question me for no reason? A police officer has the right to approach and question any person. Always remember to stay tranquil, keep your hands visible, and observe and comply with reasonable requests made by the police in order to have the smoothest conduct. Providing identification is a common and acceptable request; other than that, you have the right to decide whether to answer any other questions being asked. In order to avoid further interrogation, you can ask the officer if you are under arrest and, if so, for what crime. If you are not under arrest you have the right to leave the inquiring. Nonetheless, the police can detain you if they have a warrant for your arrest or have reason to suspect that you have broken the law or committed an offense.

What if they ask to search me? When asked for any type of search, respond immediately with the question, “Do you have a warrant?” If the police have a warrant, request a copy and then you must comply with a search. However, most police will not have a warrant–but people who are unfamiliar with the legal system can be subjected to bullying tactics by the police in order to legally get your consent for a search of your person, papers, car, or home. If no warrant exists, they can only lightly pat you down.