Advice From a Boston Criminal Defense Attorney: What To Do If You’re Stopped by Police

3 Things a top Boston criminal defense attorney wants you to do when the police stop you

The role of a Boston criminal defense attorney is to help build the best possible defense to help their clients who have been charged with a crime. However, there is a lot that happens before an attorney is hired that can influence the possible outcome for the accused. This article addresses what you should do if you are stopped by the police. You may not be able to avoid an arrest or a subsequent criminal charge, but you can protect yourself in other ways.

If you or a loved one has been arrested in the Boston area, call the Law Offices of Keren Goldenberg today for a free assessment: 617-431-2701, or contact us online. As a dedicated team of Boston criminal defense attorneys, we are here to help you.

Boston criminal defense attorney, Keren Goldenberg, advises 3 things to remember when stopped by the police

Attorney Keren Goldenberg has spent her entire career representing and successfully defending clients facing criminal charges. She has worked as a public defender and as a Boston criminal defense attorney.  Her reputation is known in the legal community as a successful and knowledgeable attorney; fellow Boston criminal defense attorneys seek her advice on their cases. 

Below is her advice on what to do if you are stopped by the police.

1. Stay calm and don’t run

This may be one of the hardest things to remember, especially if you have a particular reason to fear the police or the possibility of being charged. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, resisting arrest is a criminal offense — even if have not committed any other crime. So if you are approached by law enforcement, keep your hands visible and stay calm. Many Boston criminal defense lawyers know that this is hard to remember when you feel scared or are angered by the situation. But by staying calm and collected, you will be able to calmly ask if you are free to go — which brings us to #2.

2. Ask if you are free to go

Every single Boston criminal defense attorney wants you to know this: if you are stopped by the police, calmly and succinctly ask if you are free to leave. Ask it many times until you get an answer and ask it very clearly. If and only when the police officer says yes, leave very calmly and silently. Any comment or emotive sound can trigger the officer to further engage with you.

If the officer tells you that you are not free to go, then you are under arrest and may not leave. Calmly follow their instructions.

3. Remain silent

Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the absolute right to remain silent. You cannot be incriminated for your refusal to answer any questions. You must state to the officer very clearly that you do not want to speak to the police or answer any questions — even if they tell you it will be helpful or beneficial to you. The only information you should give is your true name.

The same applies when agreeing to a search. Refuse any search of your belongings. If you are physically searched or patted down, vocally state (repeatedly) that you do not consent to the search of your belongings.

These rules all apply if you are stopped by the police while driving. Just remember to turn off the engine, turn the inside lights on, open the window part way, and keep your hands on the wheel. When asked for identification, do not rifle through your things until you are requested to retrieve it.

If you are arrested, contact Boston criminal defense lawyer Keren Goldenberg online or by calling 617-431-2701. She and her team are ready to provide you with experienced and aggressive representation.