Arenstein & Gallagher
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You Have To Know Your Rights When Speaking With The Police

24 states now have laws requiring you to identify yourself when asked by an Officer. This has been well publicized. What is not well publicized is the fact the police must have a reasonable suspeciion you are committing or have committed a crime. If not, you are free to move about anonymously. That is still your right. Police seem to forfet this when demanding identification from people they encounter.

There is conflict which now exists when any of us is approached bythe police. The police attempt to gather as much information as possible. They want to know about you when speaking to you. Whether you are wanted. Whether you have a past. Whether you should be trusted by them. But you do not have to provide them with information just because they would like to have it.

The problems for most people is the intimidating nature of being confronted by police officers. Their uniform, badge, gun and taser make most nervous. Add to this the upbringing most have received of "trust the police" and people find themselves unwilling or unable to resist complying wiht requests. This is true even if it is in a person's best interest not to provide information. But everyone needs to be aware of his/her rights and the fact police do not have a "right" to information about you unless you are susptected of a crime. Even then you need to consider the consequences of providing anything. For more information on your rights there is a great website. www.flexyourrifhts.org 

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