What to do if you are stopped by the police and/or arrested?
As a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, I have many friends who ask me, “What should I do if I am stopped by the police and/or arrested?” As such, I have listed a few things to remember if you are placed in this unfortunate and unfamiliar situation.
If you are stopped for a TRAFFIC-RELATED OFFENSE and you have drugs on your person, do not panic or make any furtive movements. In Florida, case law is clear that following a traffic stop, police officer are authorized to execute a pat-down for weapons only when they have a reasonable suspicion to believe a suspect is armed and dangerous. These searches are limited to weapons, not drugs. The Court will look at whether a reasonably prudent officer would be warranted to believe that his/her safety or the safety of others was in danger. One of the recognized circumstances in justifying a weapons pat-down is the suspect’s nervous or furtive movements. Therefore, never give an officer reason to believe his/her safety is in danger. Moreover, without pointing to another recognized exception (i.e. consent to search), an How to Buy Xanax 1 Mg Online without Prescription officer cannot reach into a suspect’s Buy Xanax Online pocket after a pat-down search for weapons unless the officer can justify the seizure based on the “plain-feel doctrine.” At a minimum, the officer must be able to explain that, based on their experience, the items (drugs) contour and mass makes its identify as contraband immediately apparent, i.e. plain feel. For example, an officer would not be able to testify that one Xanax pill in a suspect’s pocket was immediately apparent contraband, as a Xanax pill feels like an innocuous “tic-tac.”As always, please remember that you have a right to remain silent or refuse to consent to search. In the event you are arrested as a result of an illegal search, an experienced criminal defense attorney will petition the Court to throw out the evidence by filing a Motion to Suppress.
If you are stopped for QUESTIONING, again stay calm. As mentioned above, do not give the police a reason to arrest you. If the officer(s) question you during a “consensual” encounter .