GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACT WITH PENSACOLA POLICE, ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTIES, PENSACOLA BEACH, & LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
CHRISTOPHER L. RABBY, Attorney at Law
445 East Government Street
Pensacola, Florida 32502
(850) 437-9005 (Fax)
1. Be polite to the Officer(s).
2. Stay calm.
3. Make sure they can see your hands at all times.
4. Tell the officers that you do not want to talk to them.
5. Ask them if you are under arrest.
If not. Tell them you do not consent to the encounter and calmly leave.
6. Ask them to leave you alone or just go away.
Note: If you do not consent to the encounter, Law enforcement must have a reason to inquire
further, so tell them to leave you alone.
But in some circumstances a person may be required to provide name and date of birth.
Note: Do not give law enforcement a reason to screw with you- noise, profanity,
refusal to provide name, littering (flicking cigarette butts), etc.
Note: The Constitution gives people the right to peaceably assemble.
(United States Constitution, 1st Amendment; Florida Constitution, Article 1 §5)
7. Just Say No.
No I won’t talk to you.
No I will not answer your questions
No you cannot search my person, bags, clothing or vehicle
No I will not take your tests
No I will not leave a public street (you are peaceably assembling)
8. Tell them you wish to speak with a lawyer, and cease all questioning at this time.
(except for name, address, and date of birth)
9. Make note of the name of the Officer(s).
10. Call Rabby with questions. 850-437-9410
YOU HAVE RIGHTS. When you have a right, use it!
– You have the right to remain silent. USE IT!
If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
– You have the right to refuse a search of yourself, your belongings your car and your home.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONSENT TO SEARCH
However, the police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon.
You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search.
If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.
– If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave.
– You have the right to a lawyer even if you are not arrested.
Ask for one immediately.
YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
– Do not escalate the situation, Stay calm and be polite.
– Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
– Do not lie or give false documents.
– Remember the details of the encounter.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED ON THE STREET FOR QUESTIONING
Stay calm. Don’t run. Don’t argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights.
Keep your hands where police can see them, out of your pockets.
Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away.
If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions.
If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings,
IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR
Turn on a turn signal immediately. Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible.
Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel.
Upon request, show police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search.
But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent.
If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave.
The police ma only detain you long enough to issue a ticket, unless there is probable cause or your consent to search.
Do not consent to a search of your vehicle.
IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS
You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or
citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials.
You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)
If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
IF THE POLICE COME TO YOUR HOME
If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it.
A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside.
Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent.
If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.
IF YOU ARE CONTACTED BY FEDERAL AGENTS
If an FBI, DEA, ATF&E, or IRS agent comes to your home or workplace, you do not have to answer any questions.
Tell the agent you want to speak to a lawyer first.
If you are asked to meet with federal agents for an interview, you have the right to say you do not want to be interviewed.
If you agree to an interview, have a lawyer present. You do not have to answer any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, and can say that you will only answer questions on a specific topic.
IF YOU ARE ARRESTED
Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair.
Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to an appointed one. Don’t say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without a lawyer.
You have the right to make a local phone call. The police cannot listen if you call a lawyer.
Prepare yourself in case you are arrested. Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer.
Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
General Advice: The facts of a case are sometimes well established by the time you hire a lawyer.
So in advance, plan to limit alcohol consumption, know the laws on public drinking.
Do not give them a reason to question you (obnoxious behavior/ loud noise/ public profanity).
Record, or have a friend record the incident on a cell.
Do not be engaged in activities that create law enforcement curiosity.
IF YOU FEEL YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
Contact Chris immediately.
Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street.
Don’t physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.