People who haven’t dealt with law enforcement or the New Mexico criminal justice system might not fully know their rights. For example, when the police stop someone, the officers must respect a suspect’s rights to make a lawful arrest. Persons concerned about police entrapment or other illegal activities may find learning what to do when stopped by the police to be potentially valuable.
Fundamental steps to dealing with a police stop
Remaining calm might work in everyone’s best interests. However, attempting to flee the police could lead to a catastrophe. Even becoming verbally belligerent or uncooperative with police has serious downsides.
However, a suspect has the right to remain silent. Often, people will start talking to the police and answering questions in a way that leads to self-incrimination. Not saying anything and invoking the right to remain silent might help. The right to remain silent exists after an arrest. One mistake people make is they start to stay silent after the arrest but make numerous incriminating statements before going into custody.
While in custody, a suspect has a right to having an attorney present. Such is the case even when not arrested but “merely” being questioned. Speaking without a criminal defense attorney could lead to self-incrimination or, worse, severe violations of civil rights. A false confession might result from trying to deal with the police without an attorney.
Other concerns when stopped
Persons who feel the police violated their rights might file a complaint with the department’s internal affairs division. Taking notes as soon as possible after an incident could help the cause since details may be forgotten when time passes.
Is there video or audio of the police violating a suspect’s rights? Such evidence may prove helpful during an investigation and with a criminal defense strategy in court.