Anytime you have contact with the police, know your rights.
Rule 1: You have the right to remain silent, so REMAIN SILENT.
You should probably identify yourself — but you don’t need to do much more than that. You are under no obligation to tell them anything. Not where you’re from, where you’re going or why you’re going there. (If you are driving a car, you may be asked and required to show your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.)
Ask if you are free to leave.
But say nothing else except ASK TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY.
Rule 2: NEVER AGREE TO A SEARCH.
Typically the police will try to trick you by first asking if you have “anything that will get you in trouble.”
Remember Rule 1: say nothing more than your name and ASK TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY.
Rule 3: Be calm, be polite and DON’T PHYSICALLY RESIST.
If a police officer attempts to search you without consent or probable cause, that search is illegal. But you won’t do yourself any favors by yelling at the officer, or by physically resisting them. It’s not up to you to determine whether or not a search is illegal, or whether there was sufficient probable cause — if things get to that point, the courts will have to sort it out.
Rule 4: If you or another person has a police encounter in public, FILM IT.
When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view.
But don’t interfere with the police — then they may be legally allowed to demand you stop filming.
If you or someone you love is facing prosecution in Pensacola or beyond, I can help. I gain personal satisfaction in fighting for your rights from start to finish in the legal process and will dedicate careful attention to your case.