Montgomery County Police Searches
If a police officer knocks on a person’s door to ask them a question, that person always has the right to remain silent and respectfully tell the police officer that they do not wish to have a conversation unless they have an attorney present. Additionally, they have a right to refuse a search of their home or person unless the police officer has a warrant that was properly obtained and affirmed. If you have been arrested or charged following a Montgomery County police search, an attorney could help identify any constitutional violations and seek to dismiss evidence that was improperly obtained.
A person on the street has the same rights as someone in their home, which is the right to remain silent and request counsel before having a direct interaction with police officers. They also have a right to not have their person searched unless the officer has a basis in law to do so. Many people consent to searches on the street believing that the correct thing to do to cooperate. This is not the case. Cooperation may simply involve saying, “I’m sorry, officer, I intend to be cooperative, but I do not wish to speak to you or consent to anything without first consulting with an attorney.”
A person should always assume they are in custody or being detained, even if they are being asked a question. There is never a reason to respond to questions from police officers without first consulting with counsel.
Refusing a Search
Officers are not obligated to tell a person that they have the right to refuse a search. Law enforcement must only ask for a person’s consent to a search, and they often receive consent because people want to be cooperative without having a full understanding of their rights.
Even when a person knows for sure that they did nothing wrong, they should still preserve their rights to not incriminate themselves, or anybody else, unintentionally. They should always consult with counsel before agreeing to a search or answering police questions.
Not giving consent should not affect a case. By law, a person has the right to not consent, and police officers must use other means to legitimize their search.
An Attorney Could Review Montgomery County Police Searches
Police will always look for evidence that could help a prosecutor prove a criminal claim and secure a conviction. In their zeal to collect evidence, police officers may sometimes violate a defendant’s constitutional rights and conduct an unlawful search. For this reason, it is important that an individual always avoid speaking with law enforcement or consenting to a search without first consulting legal counsel.
If you encounter a police officer who is seeking to conduct a search, or if you believe that you were unlawfully the subject of a search, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer could review the specific context of Montgomery County police searches and determine if a constitutional violation took place.