Three Levels of police/citizen encounters
Whether you are a US citizen or not
Am I required to speak to an officer if he/she approaches me and strikes up casual conversation?
If I do speak to an officer during this casual conversation, what is my liability?
1. Consensual – Casual Conversation
- Zero evidence required for casual conversation and or interaction by the police
- You are free to leave in these encounters and you should.
- You are not required to produce identification and or answer any questions.
- Any search of person or property can only come about from “plain view” or consent.
- Examples: officer asks to speak with you at a park
Example: Officer knocks on door to ask if you saw anything
- Advanced Tip: often Police encounters can be neutralized by providing identification and answering some simple questions, albeit not required, but in most situations, by doing so at this type of encounter ends the inquiry by the officer, and eliminate any other reason for continued investigation.
Charged with drug possession, driving under the influence of marijuana or alcohol? Contact Komorn Law Immediately to protect your rights 800-656-3557.
What is the difference between an arrest and a detention?
Is probable cause required, or the same standard to arrest me, if the Police want to detain me?
2. Investigative Detention / Temporary detainment for further info.
Reasonable Articulable Suspicion is the Evidence level required
- Plain View- Visible paraphernalia (Ziplocks, rolling papers, pipes)
- Tools for B&E (Crowbar, slim jim, weapons)
- Profiling (Paper tag, DARE/Police decals, College attire, Gangster attire)
- During these encounters you are not Freedom to leave – (approx. 15-20 minute max)
- Verification of ID required, specifically if you are driving but not in 26 states
Under what circumstances can the Police frisk me, or legally search me? What is probable cause to arrest, what does it exactly mean?
3. Legal search: frisk, plain sight, or consensual
- Probable cause of a crime, or observation by an officer of probable cause of a crime is the evidence level required.
Example: Officer sees you wearing a ski mask at night.
- Officer says he smells marihuana coming from a parked car.
- Officer catches you breaking and entering
- Probable Cause results in an Arrest – Taken into police custody
- Freedom to leave – no
- ID required – yes
- Legal search: after arrest is allowed, frisk, plain sight, consensual, or warrant
- The Police may legally lie, bluff, mislead and intimidate you.
- Most “avoidable arrests” occur from trickery and intimidation and failing to understand your rights and when to assert them.
- Refusing to answer questions is not an admission of guilt
- Asserting your right to remain silent is not an admission of guilt
- Demanding to have your lawyer present during any questioning is not an admission of guilt
- Refusing a search is not an admission of guilt.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime you should have an attorney representing your interests. Contact Komorn Law Immediately to protect your rights 800-656-3557.
Be aware of Police Questions:
- “Have you had anything to drink tonight?” Best response: is no
- Where are you coming from? It is best to have this answer pre-prepared so as to not raise suspicion.Or answer the Officers questions by stating “Respectfully officer, I don’t have to answer that.”
- “Not answering is suspicious, why are you not answering my question, clearly you are doing something wrong?” Best Answer: “Officer, respectfully I am aware of my rights, and constitutional protections, and I know I have no legal obligation to answer your questions.
- “Not answering is resisting me in this investigation”
Best Answer: “I’m not resisting, respectfully, I don’t have to answer anything.”
- “If you have nothing to hide, you don’t mind if I look around.”
Best response: “I’m sorry Officer, but I don’t consent to searches.”
- “If you refuse a search, I’ll have to call a K-9 unit.”
Best response: “Officer, are you detaining me, or am I free to go?”
- Officers cannot detain you past the purpose of the traffic stop and detaining you beyond this purpose is constitutionally illegal. Specifically officers cannot detain you beyond the traffic stop for the purpose of calling for a k-9 unit or drug sniffing dog.
Komorn Law has represented numerous clients through the legal chaos of starting up a business in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Industry as well as consulting and legal representation for Medical Maruhuana Patients and Caregivers.
If you or someone you know has been arrested as a result of Medical Marijuana, DUI, Drugs, Forfeiture, Criminal Enterprise or any other criminal charges please contact our office and ensure you’re defended by an experienced lawyer.
Lead attorney Michael Komorn is recognized as an expert on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. He is the President of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA), a nonprofit patient advocacy group which advocates for the rights of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.
Contact us for a free no-obligation case evaluation 800-656-3557.
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This page is for informational purposes only. Laws, regulations and the world changes routinely therefore we insist you consult an attorney for the most current legal information.