This is the final post in our series discussing the rights of Arkansas citizens during police encounters. Throughout our series we have discussed a number of specific topics related to times in which citizen rights are often violated.
Topics we have covered in this series include:
- A discussion of when police may stop and search a pedestrian’s person
- A discussion on what constitutes probable cause during a vehicle search
- A discussion on how police obtain a valid warrant and in what situations reasonable privacy can be expected
- A discussion on when Miranda Rights must be read and when incriminating statements can be kept out of Court
Throughout this series, we have provided citizens information on how they may protect their rights when being questioned by police. As we wrap up our series we will provide final tips on how to conduct oneself when stopped by an officer.
If a police officer has stopped you for questioning, or has requested to search your property, the most important thing to do is remain calm. Do not raise your voice, swear, or become angry with the officer. Maintain a polite and courteous demeanor at all times, and assert your rights without being aggressive. Remember you have the right to ask an officer 1) why you are being stopped, 2) for a warrant/ if they have probable cause, 3) to advise you of your rights. The worst mistake a person can make is to become angry or defensive. Once a person becomes “a threat” to the officer, that officer has the right to search your person to ensure that you do not have a weapon that could endanger the officer’s safety. By remaining calm, and asserting your rights in a polite fashion, the officer will either be forced to violate your rights or let you go.