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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone happiness, prosperity, and many blessings in 2012.

Remember that law enforcement is out in full force on holidays.
Drink responsibly and make sure to use a sober driver.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What To Do: When You Have a Run-In with Police

Especially during the holidays we see the presence of police increase, as well as arrests, and run-ins with law enforcement. This post serves to provide tips for interacting with police, understanding your rights, and what to do when faced with an arrest or possible arrest.

Your Rights in a Nutshell:

  • You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, you need to say soclearly, and out loud.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car, or your home.
  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly & quietly leave.
  • You have the right to an attorney if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.

Tips to Follow:
  • Stay calm and be polite.
  • Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
  • Do not lie or give false documents.
  • Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
  • Remember the details of the encounter.
  • File a written complaint if you feel your rights have been violated.
  • Contact an Attorney immediately. I cannot stress this enough. Time is of the essence.

If Police Stop You For Questioning:

You should remain calm, and do not run from or try to evade the police. Do not argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or feel that the police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them. This is a safety precaution and also shows cooperation and respect of the police.

You should ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, you should calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why. You have the right to remain silentand cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud and make sure that it is clear and understood. Do not offer any excuses or reasons as to why you would like to exercise your right to remain silent. You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon. Do not physically resist, but know that you have the right to refuse consent for any further search.

If you do consent to search of any type, it can and will affect you later in court. It is in your best interests to refuse consent to any search without a warrant.

If Your Are Stopped In Your Car:

You should stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to show police your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. If an officer asks to look inside your car, you have the right to refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.

Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no you are not free to leave, you still have the right to remain silent.

If The Police Come To Your Home:

If the police come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have a warrant. You should immediately ask to see the warrant for inspection. Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas specified on the warrant and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent.

If you choose to speak to the officers, you should step outside and close the door behind you, not inviting them inside. Please remember, it is always in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent, ask for an attorney, and refuse consent to any search without a warrant.

If You Are Arrested:

Although it may be difficult in a confrontational type situation, remember how important it is to remain calm, polite, and as cooperative as possible. Your responses, demeanor, and actions will only help the police build a case against you, even if they never had one.

Never resist an arrest, even if you believe it is unfair. This could lead to more charges against you and more problems overall. Clearly tell the officers that you choose to exercise your right to remain silent, and ask for an attorney immediately. Do not offer any explanations or excuses. If you can't afford an attorney, you will be provided one. Do not say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without your attorney present. You have the right to make a phone call. The police cannot listen if you call an attorney.

An arrest can happen unexpectedly, so prepare yourself and your family in case of an arrest.Memorize phone numbers of your family and your attorney. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication in the event of an unexpected arrest.

Remember, police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Never physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint. This will only add to the situation and provoke the officers. You should always remain calm and cooperative. Being in control of yourself and being respective of the police can only help your case.

Write down everything you remember, including officers' badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured you should immediately seek medical attention, and take photographs of your injuries. File a written complaint with the agency's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. It is imperative to contact an qualified and experienced attorney immediately so that you may receive legal advice and expertise catered to your specific situation.

*This information is not intended as legal advice. State laws may vary.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all peace, love, and joy this holiday season.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from all of us at Justin Jones Law!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Exciting News!

Exciting news, all!

We are approaching our one year law firm anniversary, and with that we are incredibly blessed to be expanding our law firm, both internally and externally. We are excited and pleased to announce that we have moved to a new, larger, more central location on Highway 51 in Ridgeland, MS. Thank you all for your support, and Justin Jones Law will continue to provide you with quality representation and genuine concern.

Visit our website for more information, or call us today to set up your free consultation. 601-499-5292