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Navigating Police Interactions: Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq. understands that police interactions can be puzzling and sometimes intimidating. To assist you in knowing your rights and responsibilities, this FAQ page sheds light on what to expect if you find yourself approached by law enforcement.

Do I Have to Stop and Answer Questions if a Police Officer Approaches Me on the Street?

While you may have not committed any wrongdoing, a police officer has the authority to stop you if they observe behavior they believe indicates possible criminal activity. If the officer has even an unsubstantiated, yet reasonable, suspicion that you're involved in a crime, they can detain you for questioning. It’s important to note, however, that being detained does not obligate you to answer all questions posed by the officer.

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What Should I Do if I Want to Avoid Interacting With Police?

Many people may choose to avoid interaction with police due to personal fears of mistreatment or wrongful accusations, especially among communities of color. Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware that some courts may interpret attempting to evade police contact as a sign of guilt, which could potentially justify detention. It’s a complex issue, and the interpretation can vary by jurisdiction.

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Can a Police Officer Search Me if I'm Stopped on the Street?

A police officer can perform a limited "frisk" of your outer clothing if they have a reasonable concern for their safety–specifically, to check for weapons. The extent of this procedure is less invasive than a full search, but if during the frisk the officer establishes probable cause to suspect criminal activity, such as feeling an item deemed to be contraband, it can lead to a more thorough search.

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Under What Circumstances Can a Frisk Escalate to a Full Search?

Initially intended to detect weapons, a frisk can escalate to a full search if an officer discovers an object that could reasonably be associated with illegal drugs or contraband. If this suspicion is confirmed through further inspection to be illegal substances, the situation could advance to an arrest.

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Am I Required to Answer Questions From a Police Officer if Stopped?

You are protected by the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, which generally permits you to refrain from answering questions posed by the police. Exceptions occur when local or state laws require you to give an account of yourself under suspicion of loitering. Beyond such inquiries, however, you are not compelled to answer additional questions unrelated to the loitering suspicion, such as queries about potential nearby criminal activities.

Should you need more information or legal assistance regarding interactions with law enforcement, please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq. at 303-355-5148. Our commitment is to safeguard your rights and provide you with the guidance you require.

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Client Reviews
"An excellent lawyer choice for my son who was charged with driving while his license was revoked. DMV had mistakenly sent (3) letters of revocation to the incorrect address, so I hired Monty to prove that my son never knew his license was revoked. Monty kept me informed at all times as to what was happening and what he doing to prove my son's innocence in this matter. We were to appear in court on 29 March 2012 and Monte informed us on 27 March 2012, that the case had been dismissed!!! Monte charged a fair, flat rate for what he did in this matter and should the need arise to hire a lawyer or to recommend a lawyer, I would not hesitate to give Monte's name.” Linda
"I consulted three other attorneys on my traffic offense in Colorado and none of them thought I could beat it. Then I consulted with Monte Robbins. He not only relieved my warrant without my presence in Colorado, but he got my habitual driving offense reduced to an infraction. I was up against the wall on this case but thanks to Monte miracles are possible. I have hired my share of attorneys and Monte Robbins has produced the best results for me yet. After being without my driving privileges for ten years I paid a small fine and am legal with a clean record. I Highly recommend this attorney." Steve
"I hired Monte J. Robbins to represent me. He gave 110% to my case never rushed me off the phone, quick to gather all information regarding my case. Monte is very knowledgeable and helped me out a lot. He kept me informed every step of the way through my case. I was always able to get a hold of him for any questions i had. The outcome of my case was way better then i had expected. Monte did a excellent job on my case and I would highly recommend him to anyone. Monte won my case and I am confident that he can do the same for anyone else." Jeremy