Have you ever wondered what an officer can and can’t do during a police encounter?
I’m Lawyer Alexandria Serra, this is Lawyer Talk Thursday (catch it every week on Instagram @alexandriaserra), and this week I'm busting the top law-enforcement related myths!
So here we go ... true or false?
- Cops have to read you your rights.
- Totally false. Yes, it’s part of the language they SHOULD use when they arrest you, but if they don’t, it’s no harm, no foul ... unless you say something incriminating.
- Cops always tell you the truth.
- False. Deception is a common technique used during interrogations, and it’s legal. If an officer uses deception and you spill your guts, it’s on you to prove that you were coerced.
- Police can’t arrest or search without a warrant.
- False. If police have probable cause, they can arrest you or search your car/belongings. Homes have more privacy and generally require a warrant, consent, or what’s called exigent circumstances. Blood alcohol tests require a warrant or consent as well, so do cell phones. Undercovers don’t have to tell you they are cops and can arrest you, too.
- You have to open the door every time an officer knocks.
- False. Unless the officer shows you an arrest warrant or search warrant, you do not have to open the door to your home.
- They’ll go easier on you if you confess.
- So. Very. False. Unless there’s some sort of immunity deal in place, #stfu. Officers don’t make that decision anyway, the District Attorney does. There may be times when officers are cool and let you go, but those are rare.
Want more deets? Check out the full YouTube video!
Got any law-enforcement myths that need busting? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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