Dealing with the Police

After a self defense altercation, there is always the possibility that you will have to deal with the police. Keep in mind that a police officers is permitted to approach you in a public place and request information. Furthermore, if the officer reasonably suspects that you are committing, have committed, or are about to commit a crime, he or she may detain you briefly for questioning.

If a police officer reasonably suspects that you are armed and dangerous, he or she is permitted to frisk you without making an arrest. If while frisking you for weapons or evidence, the officer finds anything illegal, he can confiscate it and arrest you. What follows, are seven simple rules of conduct when confronted by the law.

(1) Identify Yourself As The Victim - identify yourself as the victim and be prepared to show identification. Be careful and avoid quick or sudden movements when reaching for your wallet, and always try to keep your hands in plain view.

(2) Be Polite And Respectful To The Officer - don't talk back to police officers, and always address them as either "sir" or "ma'am".

(3) Watch What You Say - speak slowly and clearly, avoid using profanity, sarcasm, and racial or derogatory remarks, and realize that what you say can be used against you.

(4) Explain What Happened - clearly describe the sequence of events that led to the fight and if the assailant used a weapon.

(5) Follow Orders - if the officer orders you to wait at a particular spot while he sorts out the matter, obey him.

(6) Don't Get Angry - if you get angry or hostile with the police officers, you will land in jail.

(7) Know Your Rights - finally, if you are arrested and taken into police custody, remember that you have the right to remain silent, obtain a lawyer, be informed of the charges against you, and have a judge decide whether you should be released on bail.

Good luck!

-Sammy Franco (CFA Founder)

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