We hope that all of our readers are law abiding, respectful citizens of the USA, but if for some reason you find yourself at your home when for whatever reason the police come knocking or kicking down your door, here are some wonderful tips & ideas to keep in mind:
- Stay calm, cool and collected. Also be quiet and respectful.
- Stay clear of the door. It is often kicked or knocked in.
- Watch what you say, it really will be used as evidence.
- Don't argue, don't make jokes and don't wave your hands about. All of these may go wildly 'wrong' and the situation may escalate.
- Ask to see their identification and badges. Get the name and number of the official.
- Police may use all force reasonably necessary (if charge is illegal, person may sue later).
- You must be informed of the charge promptly so you can prepare your defense.
- You do not have to talk, simply give your name and address.
- You are entitled to contact family or a lawyer by phone.
- You are entitled (in most cases) to the aid of a lawyer. If you can't afford one, the state generally must supply and pay the cost of one.
- You are allowed to apply for bail (in most instances), so you can be free from jail pending trial. This doesn't apply in cases of capital offenses, such as first degree murder in many states.
- You are entitled to a speedy, public and fair trial by an impartial jury of your peers.
- In court you are presumed innocent (and need not prove it) until proved otherwise by the state, via evidence clear and beyond a reasonable doubt.
- You cannot be forced to take the witness stand to testify for or against yourself.
- You have the right to confront witnesses against you and have them cross-examined by your lawyer.
- You have the right to subpoena witnesses in your behalf.
- You have the right to object to unreasonable search and seizure of you or your home for evidence to be brought to court.
- You may be tried only once for each offense.
- You may usually appeal to a higher court.
- You will not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
- If detained against your will, you have the right to petition the court for a writ of habeas corpus to determine if detention is lawful and your case must be heard promptly.
- You may not be subjected to any bills of attainder by act of legislature depriving you of property, if found guilty of felony or treason.
- You may not be subjected to any ex post facto (after the act) laws.